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Atomsk Walker

I forgot my duty. And now I must live with the consequences.

0 · 184 views · located in Kanto Region

a character in “A Girl and Her Magikarp”, originally authored by Hoga, as played by RolePlayGateway




‚ÄĚThe world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it.‚ÄĚ-Albert Einstein

I don't enjoy the path I walk, but I will walk it with pride and give it my all.

Nickname: "Eye of the Storm"

Age: 25

Gender: Male

Trainer Type: Single and Duo Specialist

Hometown: Cerulean City

Hair Color: Dark Brown, Practically Black

Eye Color: Bright Blue

Skin Tone: Tan

Height: 6' 2"

Weight: 195 lbs

Physical Description: Atomsk is often seen with some sort of small smile on his face, and is rarely seen without a cigarette in his mouth either. He wears a button down shit, favoring white, with a loosely worn tie. His hair is shaggy, but well kept, although he does nothing to keep it that way other then shampoo it. Girls have given him nasty glares on more then one occasion, jealous of his naturally compliant hair and clear complexion. He gets more hate when he is told he has to do nothing to keep his hair and skin that way. He wears blue jeans and red converse sneakers. He is very lean, although it is clear he keeps in shape, for he has very toned muscles. His chest, arms, and legs, are riddled in scars, one of the main reasons he wears long clothing, using them as an effective cover up.

Potential Interest: Junko Takashi

Skills and Abilities: Atomsk has a calming demeanor and a silver tongue. He can talk people down from just about anything, and to this day is one of the few people able to keep Kojiro in check, although his influence over him is quite small recently. He remains calm despite the situation, and often thinks better under pressure, leading him to be nicknamed the "Comeback Kid" or "Second Wind". Atomsk has a knack for using his environment to his advantage, and has a penchant for risks. Atomsk also plays mind games with opposing trainers, putting them under pressure as well, leading to poor decision making on their part.

Other: Atomsk is a skilled martial artist, and spars frequently with his own Pokémon, the main reason for his large amount of scars. He favors Muay Thai, but knows many other arts. He also has very honed survival skills, developed from years of training in harsh conditions. He often downplays his own medical abilities, as he has skill far beyond that of standard first aid.

Personality:Atomsk is a level headed individual, who is loyal to a fault. He is a good person at heart, but his loyalty to his friend Kojiro has lead him onto his current path. He believes in second chances, and redemption, which is why he continues to follow his friend to this day. He has a soft spot for children, and his smile and demeanor make children gravitate towards him. While he is level headed, he loves getting into debates. He like's seeing others views. Atomsk is sympathetic, understanding, and is always willing to listen to others problems.

Atomsk is a hypocrite in many senses. He believes he himself is beyond redemption, and would like no one to even attempt to save him. He doesn't expect others to respect or follow him, and believes his problems are his alone to shoulder. He reveals little about himself, and will often walk away from a conversation if he feels like people are prying at him too much.

History:Atomsk was born in Snowpoint City of the Sinnoh region, and spent his first few years of life there exclusively. His family life was rough. While both his parents were good people individually, they were a horrible couple. Atomsk would often run off into the woods, and would punch and kick trees to alleviate his anger. This is how he met his first two partners, Sneasel and Riolu. They ran across Atomsk in the woods. Pokémon in that northern area are aggressive and territorial, and upon seeing Atomsk, Sneasel and Riolu attacked him on sight. Atomsk fought back fiercely, with all the might he could muster, but he quickly fell to their blows. The two Pokémon quickly realized that Atomsk was merely a child. They viewed his attempt as brave, and they took him home.

Atomsk awoke the next morning, bandaged and in his bed. His parents were asleep at the end of his bed. Atomsk faintly remembered what had happened. He got out of bed quietly, as to not wake his parents, and walked outside, embracing the cold, one of the few things that was familiar and constant in his life. He was met by the two Pokémon from the night before. They bowed to him, as if to apologize. Atomsk, being a kind child at heart, accepted, and the three became fast friends. Atomsk trained with them almost every day of his life. Their friendship brought a true escape from the torture that was home life. Unfortunately, things between Atomsk's parents only got worse, and when he was 6, they divorced. Custody was given to his father, who was moving to Cerulean City. Atomsk was incredibly sad, losing his only friends. He would not leave their side until it was time to leave, and once it became time to leave, they returned the favor. His beloved friends decided to come with him to Cerulean City.

Atomsk found his new home strange. The lack of snow being the biggest thing, as they snow was constant in his birth town of Snowpoint. Making friends wasn't hard, for two Pokémon, especially two so exotic, drew quite a bit of attention to himself. Most of the children were fickle though, and only liked him for his Pokémon. Atomsk felt alienated, as his Pokémon distanced most people from him. Atomsk became an outcast. One person liked him for him though. Kojiro Takashi. The two became fast friends, and Atomsk became friends with his little sister, Junko as well. Kojiro had a skill with Pokémon, and even Sneasel and Riolu acknowledged him. Atomsk was heartbroken once again as Kojiro left for his Pokémon journey after just a year of knowing each other. Kojiro tasked Atomsk with watching over his little sister, Junko. Atomsk took his friends task to heart, and became Junko's new protector. He grew close to her over the next three years. Atomsk grew a fondness for her. Atomsk followed in his friends footsteps, and left for his journey on his 10th Birthday, although unlike his friend, Atomsk made frequent trips back to keep an eye on Junko and his father. Atomsk never bothered with challenging Gyms. He captured Pokémon, he enjoyed his travels, and he would train in the harshest conditions. He enjoyed going back to Snowpoint occasionally, spending a few days at a time tempering himself in the cold.

Atomsk watched Kojiro climb the ranks of fame, defeating one region after another. He was a truly exceptional trainer, and Atomsk was proud to call him friend. Without Kojiro's knowledge, Atomsk was always watching from the distance, just as he watched over Junko. Atomsk loved the two of them dearly, as his most precious family. Junko seemed to grow closer to him over time. Atomsk found he had feelings for her. Deep feelings that stemmed from protecting her and knowing her so long. He had fallen in love with her. Atomsk wondered if she felt the same, but before he could confess his feelings, Kojiro disappeared. Atomsk grew frantic. He took his eyes off of his friend for just a little while, he forgot his promise to himself, and his duty to his friend, and because of that, disaster struck. Atomsk wouldn't forgive himself. He did not confess to Junko. Instead he began searching for Kojiro. He had seemingly ceased to exist. Atomsk searched frantically for nearly a year, when suddenly, his friend reappeared. He was changed though, ripe with ideas of destruction and domination. While Atomsk did not agree with his friends path, Atomsk felt he must punish himself for forgetting his duty, and took it upon himself to keep his friend in check. He turned to darkness, hoping to bring his friend back to the light.


Pokémon Species:Lucario
Pokémon Nickname: Rai
Pokémon Nature:Modest
History: Lucario has been with Atomsk since the beginning, although he was formerly Riolu. He is loyal to Atomsk to a ridiculous degree. Atomsk has never formally captured Lucario. Lucario simply follows Atomsk around, and has no Pokéball. He is protective of Atomsk, and is often concerned for him as of late considering his great moral dilemma at hand.
-Aura Sphere
-Flash Cannon
-Dragon Pulse
-Dark Pulse

Pokémon Species:Weavile
Pokémon Nickname: Thai
Pokémon Nature: Adament
History: Weavile has been with Atomsk since the beginning, although she was formerly Sneasel. She is loyal to Atomsk, although to a lesser degree then Lucario, often voicing her concerns whatever way she can. Atomsk has never formally captured Weavile. Weavile simply follows Atomsk around, and has no Pokéball. Weavile is aggressive, often wary of new people, and is also jealous of others close to Atomsk.
-Brick Break
-Aerial Ace
-Ice Punch
-Night Slash

Pokémon Species: Rhyperior
Pokémon Nickname: Sumo
Pokémon Nature: Sassy
History:Atomsk met Rhyperior as Rhydon, and when they met, Rhydon was on a massive rampage on a mountaintop in the Sinnoh region. Atomsk, together with Lucario and Weavile, managed to subdue and capture her. Rhydon was very aggresive at first, but Atomsk nutured and loved her, and it soon came to be that Rhydon was the most timid and mild of all Atomsk's Pokémon. Rhyperior has a deep affection for Atomsk, and will often attempt to smother him, despite the ridiculous size difference. Atomsk has since trained Rhyperior to stop, but she still tries, much to Atomsk's discomfort. Rhyperior is also special in that she is the only Pokémon Atomsk has ever captured in a Pokéball.
-Stealth rock

Pokémon Species:Braviary
Pokémon Nickname: Hothead
Pokémon Nature: Hasty
History:Atomsk met Braviary as Rufflet, and an adamant Rufflet he was. He pecked at Atomsk's head. Atomsk let it continue, and when he got tired of his futile attack, he fell to the ground exhausted. Atomsk gave him some food and water, earning Rufflet's respect, although the 2 of them fight constantly due to Braviary's aggressive mindset.
-Shadow Claw
-Brave Bird

Pokémon Species:Eevee
Pokémon Nickname: Nano
Pokémon Nature:Quirky
History: Atomsk saved Eevee from the brink of death, found on the side of the road as a baby abandoned for a seemingly unknown reason. Atomsk took her in, and Eevee has since grown quite fond of him. Atomsk is quite protective of her. She rarely leaves his shoulder, and Atomsk never makes her battle, fearful of her well being. He is likely so protective due to her reminding him of Junko.
-Iron Tail
-Double Edge
-Baton Pass

Pokémon Species:Zweilous
Pokémon Nickname: Broke
Pokémon Nature:Timid
History: Zwelious was another aggressive acquisition for Atomsk. Atomsk was training alone in the mountains, when he was attacked by Zweilous. Atomsk took him on head on, and defeated him with his bare hands. Zweilous continued his assault, but Atomsk continued to fend off his attacks. After two days of battling, they ceased, and he conceded to Atomsk. Since then he follows Atomsk's orders to the letter, and is quite tame for a Zwelious.
-Dragon Rush
-Draco Meteor
-Fire Fang
-Ice Fang
-Thunder Fang

So begins...

Atomsk Walker's Story


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kouji Ichigaara Character Portrait: Mykeisha Bruma Character Portrait: Cassandra Thorne Character Portrait: Kojiro Takashi (WIP:Poke History) Character Portrait: Atomsk Walker Character Portrait:
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"Hey Kouji," Cassandra greeted in response to the inquiry, but she figured that Kojiro would be explaining the rest at some point, and besides that she didn't really have much to say about it. The op went down fine, a few Rockets got pummelled, life was good. Sometimes.

"The op went smooth enough, had a couple followers, but I took care of that I think."Kojiro didn't exactly comment on the eye wear statement. He'd gotten blood in his eye because he took off his goggles to begin with. Instead he settled for taking of his coat to inspect the damage, the thing was naturally riddled with tiny bits of glass- he probably was too. The part that got to him more was a blatant tear towards the tail of his coat, a section roughly the size of his palm was missing. He shrugged it off, it wasn't like that end would carry his scent so much as the smell of where he'd recently walked so a Growlithe would only be able to take a follower to Mt. Hideaway. Just to check, he also unbuttoned his shirt, nothing worth noting in terms of body damage, which meant his own blood would be the most for evidence aside from the Rocket Grunts.

"Right I know Cass wasn't the only one that watched the fight. So what's everyone's opinion on my auditioning the Trio?" He openly asked this over Cataclysms intercom; something told him the local nerds either camera fed the fight to the Team or they managed to stealthily watch it on their own. Since Cataclysm was young he didn't want to make any ill- timed moves. "Also what's everyone thinking, personally after I get patched up I'm thinking some aggressive expansion is in order. That and more members equals more sparring partners, don't suppose anyone has any ideas or alternatives? Maybe some form of casual entertainment?" With that he threw himself on one of the couches in the common room, his clothes could stay on the floor.

At this point, Cassandra stalked into the room, a square red box dangling by the handle from a pair of dark fingers. Striding past Kojiro, she dropped it nonchalantly into his lap, raising a brow at his queries over the intercom but not offering to comment at this point. In truth, her devotion to the larger project of Team Cataclysm was pretty sparing- all she was properly concerned with was getting rid of Team Rocket. Still, she'd do what she had to in order to see this goal accomplished, and filching members (good ones) out from underneath that pompous executive's nose was quite in line with it.

Moving into the kitchen, which was attached to the common room on this floor, she too spoke, and expected that she would be equally as heard. "Fastest way to expand is to get known. Saves us the trouble of finding people to join if they all want to come to us." Rummaging around in a few cupboards, the woman started a kettle over the gas stove and set to chopping some vegetables, clearly more comfortable with a knife than most people had any right to be.

"An idea as tasty as what I'm looking for," a specific "ghost girl" responded as she stuck her head in the refrigerator, without much warning of having entered in the first place.

Cassandra rolled her eyes. It was like none of them knew how to cook or something. "Go sit down, Gastly, I'll take care of it." Shaking her head, the woman lifted the kettle off the burner and replaced it with a skillet, dropping all the things she'd been slicing into it with a sizzle. The water, she moved elsewhere, throwing some tea leaves in to steep for a few minutes. She was pretty sure that if these people didn't have her around, half of them wouldn't ever eat. Much as she professed not to give a damn about any of them, she did care enough that she'd really rather that not happen. So she (grudgingly) cooked at least once a day when she was around, and made enough for at least ten people, so that the leftovers could sit in the fridge until someone remembered that they had a metabolism at two in the morning and wander in as though a kitchen were a foreign concept.

Honestly, she was kind of irritated that her mother had rubbed off on her so badly.

Despite being asked otherwise, Mykeisha decided to walk over to the counter anyhow, simply out of wonder for what she was to expect to be eating later on. Yes, even for a dead woman, Mykeisha had quite the appetite, simply another quirk among her many, many others. "What is it that Miss Thorne is making for us tonight, I wonder..." Mykeisha asked, holding a pink and blue fan over her mouth, gazing into the skillet. Of course, the fact that the last anyone heard of her was that she was trapped in a burning building only a couple hours ago was one that Mykeisha did not make obvious, as she wouldn't even be standing there if she was human, or if she didn't have a Gardevoir.

Sometimes, the urge to smack oneself on the forehead was almost too strong to resist. Cassandra wasn't the most familiar person in the world, and if she didn't like a person, they weren't allowed to call her anything but her name, but she had never liked or encouraged being called 'Miss Thorne.' It was, in fact, how that person had addressed her, and if she'd disliked it before then, she despised it now. Still, one didn't exactly tell Mykeisha something like that and expect her to care or remember. The ghost just did things her own little bizarre way, and the rest of them either put up with it or didn't. "Stir fry," she answered simply, choosing to let the matter drop. The tea was done steeping, though, and she placed several cups on the counter to indicate as much, pouring herself one and leaning up against the surface to drink hers as the food cooked behind her.

Her father had always encouraged the practice of consuming tea after physical activity, and since he was over fifty and still regularly beat the tar out of people half his age, she saw no reason not to maintain the habit even in his absence. If the others chose to, well, their health would be better. If not... no skin off her teeth, anyway.

Strolling into the kitchen at a lethargic pace, Kouji took a seat on a cushion positioned closer to the door than to the rest of the officers. Though he put in a little less than a year's time with the organization, he still felt like a bit of an outcast. He's no stranger to the indifference he wears on his face- it's a flaw that his sister incessantly derides him for.

He did a scan of the room, noting the presence of all but one of the officers. Cassandra took her usual spot preparing the meal for the evening- she put on a tough face, but Kouji could tell that her care for the group went deeper than she probably wanted anyone to pick up on. Head honcho Kojiro was next on his scan, who had sustained some sort of injury to his eye. Kouji reasoned not to bring it up, confident that somebody would do a better job of bringing that up.

Lastly was the mysterious Mykeisha. Though Kouji was a typically accepting person, he never could quite read her. Any attempt to ever engage her in conversation in the past proved fruitless, as she would either be off in her own world, or making claims about her alleged death.

"And Maya told me that I was socially inept..." he thought to himself, giving Wattson and Croc leave to go and play. Hero lay at Kouji's feet, never one to stray too far from his old friend.

It was at this point that Kouji grew weary of being the elephant in the room, and decided to join in on the conversation. "At the risk of overshooting my pay grade, how did the mission go? Doesn't look like we lost anybody."

"I really could care less about this pay grade crap," Kojiro answered while bandaging up what cuts and injuries he got from the glass. "From my end the mission was rather boring, all the effort in planning the thing and a simple charge took care of everything. If anything the trip back was more interesting. Three Grunts from Rocket decided they wanted to dance, and I'm hoping they'll decide to join soon, it's not often you find a three man cell with that level of potential."Kojiro's voice was rather dull as he spoke, after all it wasn't too important now. "But Cass, what do you mean 'get us known'? That could be anything from robbing a bank to going door-to-door asking for members. Also, how long until that disk gets cracked?" He refrained from suggesting they split up despite believing the more things that could be done at once, the better.

"Oh yeah, I should also hit up the Center and get my team patched up. Or is our own medical wing working now?" At this point, his voice once more possessed inflection. In truth, even he didn't know if it was from true concern for his Pokemon or simple lust to get back into battle. "As for losing anyone, I don't know. It's not like I counted who went in and then came out; I kind of assumed that people would just go do their own thing and then we'd all get a call when the disk was cracked."

"Med wing's working, though only the pokemon side," Cassandra replied in her usual languid tones. Pausing a moment to flip the ingredients around in the skillet, she set her tea down and flicked open the communication device on her other wrist with her free hand. "Daisuke says the disk may be a couple hours yet. Personnel check-ins indicate that everyone made it out without incident, but also that Jeremy hasn't shown his face here yet." She shrugged. That wasn't so abnormal. Trying to coordinate the team was kind of like herding Meowth; they all sort of did their own thing and only really came together when it was necessary. Things were probably better that way-- if this whole thing blew up in their faces (and she wasn't an idiot, it probably would), then they'd all be able to move onto the next without too much difficulty.

"As for getting known, well... that's all about getting people to believe that we're worth supporting, isn't it? Trainers aren't the only people we can use. We need popular opinion to keep the police off our backs, and we need financial backing if we're going to keep running expensive operations like this one. End of story." If they didn't manage to find those two things somewhere and somehow, they'd never be able to take down Team Rocket, and that was really the important bit, wasn't it? She'd learned the hard way that you didn't do that kind of thing alone, not with the new leader in charge. That'd get you beaten and trapped in a collapsing building, and more importantly, without your pokemon. The lines of her face hardened at the thought, and her mouth dropped into a scowl. Poking around in the fridge to hide it, she found some rice and reheated it for the stir fry, dropping it in with the rest.

How to go about it was a bit more of a challenge, and she gave it some thought before responding properly. "Well, besides the Gym Leaders, who are the most well-known people in the region? I'd say it's a pretty even tie between TV personalities and radio broadcasters. They're in the spotlight all the time, which is right where we want to be, yeah?" Mercurial, her face shifted into a devilish grin, playful where solemnity had been but moments before. This could be fun.

Atomsk walked into the common area after a particularly brutal training session with Rai and Thai. Atomsk believed that in order to properly communicate with ones Pokémon, one needed to be able to go toe to toe with them. Feel what they feel. This gave Atomsk a particularly toned body. He walked in with Rai and Thai on his heels. He had a noticeably large flow of blood coming from the top of his head, although his hair covered the location of the actual wound. His shirt was still off, and he lit a cigarette as he walked. He walked up to Cassandra, she was in the middle of cooking, and reached into the skillet to grab the plethora of foods mixed into it. He threw the handful into his mouth, and chewed happily. "That's pretty good Cass, although it's lacking spices. Throw in some salt and pepper. but it still needs more than that."

"Well, maybe that's because I haven't added the spices yet, you lug," Cass replied, watching with distaste as Atomsk grabbed a handful of food right out of the skillet. "Honestly, it's like living with barbarians. Didn't your mother ever teach you patience?" She was tempted to smack him with a wooden spoon or something, but he looked like his pokemon had already kicked his ass enough for the day. That would be extra carbos in their food for the next day or two, if she had anything to say about it. "Get your sorry self over to the first-aid kit Kojiro's using or I'll teach it to you, and we don't want that, now do we?"

This sort of banter was more or less the norm for the two of them, as Atomsk was occasionally Cassandra's sparring partner, and therefore subject to a bit more friendliness than the average schmuck. Perhaps unfortunately, she best expressed such goodwill with sarcastic barbs and threats of physical harm. Well, she'd never claimed to be normal, either, and it sort of worked out most of the time, so whatever. Flipping open another cupboard door, she grabbed an array of spices both mundane and exotic and set them down on the counter. Personally, she liked her food hot enough to cause most to sweat, but she toned it down for the less curry-inclined in the group.

"You don't have to tell me to use a damned first aid kit, I was already planning on it." Atomsk got annoyed whenever he was told to do something by Cassandra. He didn't really like his own mother, so getting mothered by Cassandra wasn't something he particularly liked either. He grabbed a hand towel, and wiped the blood from his forehead with it. He grew uncomfortable quickly with so many people around. He didn't like showing off his scars, so he threw on his shirt and tie quickly on his way over to the table Kojiro was sitting it. He grabbed some bandages and rubbing alcohol from the kit. He poured the rubbing alcohol over the wound, not even wincing from the pain, and then wrapped the bandages his head. He took a deep inhale from his cigarette, and breathed out a decent cloud of smoke.

Eevee ran into the room and quickly jumped up onto his shoulder. She nuzzled into him, and he proceeded to pet her. "How long until dinner? I'm hungry as hell!"

Her initial response was to roll her eyes, but she did glance behind her to check on the food. "Two minutes, tops. Anyway, we were just talking business, if you have any input." She waved a hand as if to say it made no difference to her, then cast her eye over the selection of spices, selecting a good four from the bunch and heading back over to the stove. Kojiro could fill him in if there was anything worth passing on, but at this point, it seemed like more summaries of events wouldn't help and it was probably best to just decide on something.

Kojiro finally acknowledged Atomsk's presence when the man helped himself to the first aid kit. He usually got along with man, and even began speaking in a friendly tone. "Got your ass handed-" at that point Kojiro had to suppress a wince from a spike of pain in his skull. For some reason, he'd always get these when around Atomsk for extended periods of time."-to you again I see. Sparring Pokemon can be fun and all, but there's really no reason to go at it so hard core." Kojiro had already finished bandaging himself before Atomsk had gone for the first aid kit, if anything this meant he no longer had to put it away. He stood up and began to walk out of the room, "Well if anyone needs me I'll be in the med bay then. Gotta patch up my team after the little scrap today." Sure he was technically avoiding people at this point in time, but he'd rather avoid the pain in his skull at the moment.

"Cass just save me some, I'm starving. Also don't listen to Atomsk on spices, he likes to fry his tongue."


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kojiro Takashi (WIP:Poke History) Character Portrait: Atomsk Walker Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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#, as written by Hoga
Atomsk saw his friend get up to leave the room, and decided to follow him, and see how he was doing. He looked back to Rai and Thai as he got up, and gave them a nod, telling them to hang back. Atomsk picked up his pace to a brisk run to catch up to Kojiro. As he approached, he addressed his friend with a tone of concern. So, how have you been feeling lately Kojiro?

Kojiro felt a slight sting in his skull at Atomsk's voice, apparently the big guy decided to follow him. "Same as usual, bored out of mind and all around itching for a fight. Barely contained urge to crush Rocket beneath my feet currently accompanied by a very annoying sensation at the back of my skull." Kojiro's tone didn't have the previous friendly tone anymore, it was irritation with a slight tinge of desperation. This guy's voice kept triggering something in the back of his mind, but there was nothing there. It was like trying to search a blank file, no matter how many times there was nothing there and ultimately made him frustrated that he couldn't recall anything.

"Anything else you came after me for, or is this just one of those weird conversations where you try to pick my brain?" At first those conversations did nothing but piss him off, they still did in fact. But the key change is now unlike before there was this sensation that 'something should be there' but that something wasn't in his memory. Whatever was going on it seemed Atomsk wanted to make him remember something, or pry some bit of information out of him...but what?

"You really don't remember me? I've been here for some time now. I've told you time and again. You don't believe that you used to know me do you?" This was always a painful thing for Atomsk, He lost his friend twice now. He had to save him twice as well. It broke his heart, talking to his friend like this, but he had to try if he wanted to have any hope of succeeding.

"There's no memory there, hard as I try it all ends with Rocket digging me out of some rubble. Beyond that it's just...empty." Kojiro explained in a rare warm tone. "Something about you seems like I should no it, but that's just it. Instict simply states 'I should remember this guy' but as far as memories're just an oddly familiar stranger." They finally reached the medical bay so Kojiro released the Pokemon he'd used in battle today to begin their treatment. He was about to flat tell Atomsk to get lost when a faint, yet blurred image from when he was riding behind Cassandra on his bike. " I think I saw a girl today earlier, bout 5'6 or so and slender frame with dark hair. For some reason I swear she said my name and seemed to think I was someone she knew." He screwed up his face, forcing himself to remember that image... but nothing more came. "It was right outside the city, if possible, I want you to track her and her group down. They were on top of the Grunts I had tried to recruit today, save the Grunts and get her off our trail if she decides to track us down...something doesn't seem right." With that he began treatment on his unconscious Kingdra and barely conscious Lucario; he no longer intended to keep talking.

"That was.......!" Atomsk considered trying to tell him, but he knew it wouldn't mean much. "Sure, whatever you say man." Atomsk turned back to the hallway, and made his way to the kitchen. Go see Junko huh? He wasn't going to bother hiding. She didn't know what he was up to currently. He could go talk to her and see whats going on. He was pretty happy he had an excuse to leave and talk to her. As he passed Rai and Thai, he called them to follow. He made it to the Dojo, where the rest of his Pokémon were waiting. He returned Sumo to her ball, the only one who needed to use a Pokéball for transportation. He grabbed his jacket, and lit another cigarette. He threw on his jacket as his partners walked out the door to the city with him.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kouji Ichigaara Character Portrait: Mykeisha Bruma Character Portrait: Atomsk Walker Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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#, as written by Hoga
The depths of Kojiro's stupidity never ceased to bewilder Kouji. He sent an open invitation to Rocket Grunts? At this rate, he may as well put up a sign welcoming every Rocket spy to waltz right in and shut down their entire operation! His lack of concern for the return of his troops added further fuel to Kouji's proverbial fire of steadily increasing tension. Even disregarding the blatant lack of concern for the lives of his team, any number of them could have been abducted and interrogated for information. Kouji couldn't fault him for being a quality trainer- perhaps even stronger than Kouji himself was. This was where his merits ended, however, and he fervently began to wonder what the rest of the Officers saw in him.

Before he could protest, though, Kojiro left the room with Atomsk, a Cataclysm Agent like himself. Kouji held a great deal in common with Atomsk, sharing his philosophy that if a Trainer wasn't capable of taking a punch from a Pokemon, then he had no business calling himself their master. He had always meant to join him in some of his training sessions, but his recent surge of grunt work had proved difficult to get in any form of training, conjoined or otherwise. Eager to give Kojiro a piece of his mind, Kouji beckoned the half of his team currently with him to follow as he pursued the commander and his friend. Before he could protest his recent decision-making, however, he stopped to overhear the pair's conversation.

He paid no heed to the initial small talk, instead focusing in on Atomsk's concern over Kojiro's memory. Though Kojiro certainly wasn't winning any awards for efficient brainpower, Kouji had no doubt that something as significant and long-term as an old friend would easily slip even Kojiro's mind. Before he could begin to further assess the conversation, however, Kojiro threw yet another curve ball- ordering Atomsk to track down some girl that he saw whilst recruiting the Grunts. Kouji sensed a faint twinge of hesitance from his fellow agent, though he couldn't interperet anything deeper than that. It was then that Kouji resolved to accompany Atomsk on this new mission.

It wasn't that he particularly cared to get in Kojiro's good graces, or even about getting to the bottom of this mysterious girl he knew. Rather, he wanted to pick Atomsk's brain about the man he was taking orders from. He often thought about probing the other Officer's minds (Cassandra in particular- she seemed to have a good head on her shoulders,) but in retrospect, someone who seemed to be a little closer to him may have more insight to alleviate Kouji's concerns, or at the very least, advice on how to take him out of his ill-deserved position. Besides, he wasn't exactly in close with any of the officers yet- at this point in time, Atomsk was the closest thing to a friend in the organization that Kouji had.

In addition to the faux detective work, Kouji was simply bored and needed something to do. He was also genuinely interested in perhaps getting to know Atomsk, seeing as the two shared almost identical philosophies both concerning Pokemon and personal life in general. Seeing the two break away, Kouji took this time to head to the back entrance and round up the remainder of his team. Filling them in on what the situation was, the six of them (with only Ether being confined to her Pokeball,) headed to the front entrance to meet their hopeful partner in this new undertaking. He didn't have to wait long before Atomsk showed up, his team also characteristically absent from their Pokeballs.

"Hey Atomsk," Kouji greeted, meeting him halfway, "Couldn't help but overhear that you're doing some recon on a suspicious Trainer. Would you mind if I tagged along? They've had me doing grunt work practically since I got here, so I'm dying for something to do."

Atomsk was somewhat startled. He wasn't expecting company. He had just lit another cigarette, and nearly dropped it after being surprised. He looked behind him to see Kouji. He took a deep breath in at the question of if he could tag along. He wasn't looking for company, especially on this mission, but He liked Kouji somewhat, and figured getting to know someone on Team Cataclysm wouldn't be such a bad thing. "Yeah, I suppose that's fine. But I want it to be clear that I'm in charge. I'm on something important for Kojiro, and its something that only I can handle correctly."

Kouji held back a chuckle, finding it humorous that everyone in this organization vied for charge of some form or fashion. Still, he was in no position to protest, nor did he have any particular desire to boss around his potential ally. "Sure, that's fair," Kouji responded, looking around at the large number of monsters that had materialized, "If you don't mind me making a suggestion, though, I notice that we've got a small army here. I know neither of us like keeping our friends here in their Pokeballs, but if our job is to tail this girl, then we should put our personal philosophy aside." With that, Kouji withdrew each member of his team to their respective custom Pokeballs, save for Hero.

"If we keep one out each, we'll be able to handle an ambush without the extra step of determining a fighter and fumbling with their Pokeball."

Atomsk looked over to Kouji with a nasty glare. He must have been spying on him and Kojiro. He wouldn't be able to know about his mission otherwise. He took another drag from his cigarette, fairly irritated now. He looked back to his team. He wouldn't really need them, but he had no Pokéballs to speak of. Not that he needed any for anyone other then Sumo. He turned around, walking backwards as he looked towards his team. He spoke up for them to hear. "Spread out guys! I need to be alone for this one." They did as he asked, and wandered off in their own directions, save for Eevee who remained on his shoulder. Atomsk turned back around, continuing his brisk walk with Kouji in tow. He looked to him. "First off, No Pokémon for this one. We're going in alone. We don't have to worry about fights or ambushes. Second, I don't take kindly to spying, so you're going to tell me everything you heard, got it?"

Kouji's respect for Atomsk was dwindling rather rapidly. He didn't bat at eyelash when Kouji mentioned tailing an anonymous Trainer, but once Kouji divulged his knowledge about her gender, Atomsk's proverbial "beast mode" engaged. This led Kouji to believe that it wasn't his inadvertent espionage that set Atomsk off, but his potential knowledge of the Trainer herself. Whatever the catalyst was for Atomsk's angst was didn't concern Kouji, however- it was his amateurish disregard for potential threats. There was no way Kouji was going on any sort of op without his team. It was both foolish and rather silly, considering the technology existed to bring them along without actually dragging them along. There's a reason why they were called 'Pocket Monsters.'

"You call it spying, yet you weren't going out of your way to conceal your conversation," Kouji retorted, recalling Hero to his Pokeball, "Terribly sorry that I overheard, but you weren't exactly keeping it down to a dull roar. As for what I heard, it was nothing more than some small talk and some business about memories. The only thing I latched onto was the talk of this Trainer Kojiro was concerned about."

He also added, "And you'll forgive me if I don't exactly jump on board with leaving my team here, not when I can literally put them in my pocket. I'll refrain from walking around with them, but I see no advantage to willingly leaving them here, when I can essentially 'go it alone' while having easy access to them."

"Sorry if I made it seem like you have to leave them right here. Having them in Pokéballs is fine. And besides, we have nothing to worry about. We're not going into this as blind as you think we are. I know the target. We have no reason to worry. I'm not being a fool." Atomsk's smile was long wiped from his face. He held his cigarette in his mouth, and shoved his hands into his jacket pockets, pouting. He looked over to Kouji once again. He guess he really couldn't complain about him overhearing the conversation. It still bugged him though. It was alright though. They hadn't really gotten too far into details about anything. It meant he was still in the clear.

"When we get there, I want you to hang back when I talk to the girl. Go gather other info, whatever you see fit, but I really need to talk to her alone.........alright..........?"

Kouji nodded at Atomsk's rationale, deciding to chalk it up to a misunderstanding and left it at that. Keeping Atomsk's pace, he awaited another verbal lashing regarding his eavesdropping, which fortunately didn't come. This partnership had started off rather rocky, and Kouji was anxious to get it back on track.

He listened carefully to Atomsk's last instructions, simply responding, "Sure thing." Kouji saw no reason to dispute his request- this mission was beginning to sound like more and more of a personal nature rather than quashing the Rocket's ambitions. Besides, Kouji had no real attachment to solving this 'mystery' at that current point in time, so granting Atomsk this act of obedience may prove to ease the tension a little.

Atomsk was somewhat suprised by Kouji's easy response He wondered if he really would hang back, but doubting him wouldn't do any good. He decided to give him another chance. "Good. Thanks." Atomsk took another drag from his stub of a cigarette, and spat it to his side, putting another one in his mouth. As he lit it, he addressed Kouji again. "So is there a particular reason you decided to tag along? You've kept to yourself since you joined. You don't seem to be like the rest of everyone here."

"Cabin fever, mostly." Kouji replied, "I've done nothing but guard HQ and babysit the analysts since I've been here, so I could use some fresh air. We've also got similar philosophies, so I figured getting to know you would be pretty cool too."

He added, "As for my 'one man wolf pack' routine, I guess that's been kind've two pronged." He took a moment to inhale, "I've got this thing where my face doesn't exactly express my intentions. Apparently, I always have a look of indifference on my face, which I'm sure has turned of more than a few people away from me. Which sucks, because I'm generally pretty empathetic."

He paused, "However, something else has kind've been bothering me. I was actively sought out and recruited for my skillset- battling and strategizing, essentially. But I've been in the group a little less than a year, and I've done nothing more invovled than guard duty and the occasional mop-up of residual Rockets at the outset of an op. It's not that I mind being low-man on the totem pole, but I'm curious as to why they'd hire me to do a job and then prevent me from doing it."

"Well I'm glad you took an active interest in me I guess. It's nice to know someone here is at least some form of socialable. I'm sorry that you face is deceiving, but it is what it is. You've got to try to work past it."

Atomsk paused. He had a few suspicions as to why Kouji was kept at arms length. Despite Kojiro's erratic behavior as of late, he still held some semblance of intelligence. He probably knew the Kouji was still a wild card. A loose cannon. If he knew everything about Cataclysm, he would probably quit. Kouji needed eased into it. He needed to be turned to their said.

Heh, "their" side. He spoke as if he was one of them. In a way he was. Although the true reason he was here was to save his friend. He wasn't sure who or what he was anymore. He was losing himself to this desperate pursuit. He wondered if he would be able to save Kojiro. And if he could save Kojiro, could he save himself? He wasn't sure he could come back from this.

Atomsk snapped out of his self induced trance after nearly tripping over a rock. He hurridly responded to the other half of Koujis question after he came back to his senses. "I think you know why you're being kept so far from the heart of things. You're insightful enough to discern that."

Kouji chuckled at Atomsk's remark, "You sound like my sister, except for the being genuine part. Maya typically bitched at me until I faked a smile. Come to think of it, that was the last thing she told me before she left to work with the Pokemaniac Bill!"

Kouji's reminisince was short lived, however, as he noticed Atomsk's abrupt lapse at the mention of Kouji's latter concern. This didn't bother him so much- Atomsk potentially had information that superseded Kouji's 'need-to-know' level and may have required time to filter through what was safe to divulge. It was his verbal response that hit Kouji with a strange feeling, though he couldn't pinpoint why. What was Atomsk's angle in all of this?

Eager for answers, Kouji decided to ease into the role of the inquisitor, "Well I'll thank you for the compliment. I always assumed I was just being shown the ropes and earning trust. Guess I've just got to wait it out a little longer." This was a hardly the truth, though Kouji decided not to push the topic any further until he knew he could completely trust Atomsk. "If you don't mind me saying, I'd say that you're also a little different from the make-up of the typical Cataclysm-er. Mind if I ask what keeps you around?"

Atomsk wasn't really looking to divulge a large amount of information to Kouji. "Well as I'm sure you can tell, I'm defiantly not all for Cataclysm. I'm here for something more. I made a promise and I intend to keep it." Atomsk wasn't happy about giving away even this little bit of information. But from what Kouji heard earlier, he was sure that not a lot was left to the imagination. "Kojiro. He's why I stick around."

Atomsk looked down again, lost in thought. He wasn't usually this down, but the topics had been touchy for one, and it put him in an uncomfortable place. He took another huge drag, and let it out, calming himself down some.

Kouji was surprised- not only was Atomsk far more up-front than Kouji had expected, but he may have revealed more than he intended. Why wouldn't Atomsk be 'all for Cataclysm?' The organizations purpose was to eliminate Team Rocket, right? What's not to be 'all for' about that?

Considering the nature of their current relationship, Kouji reasoned that it was probably better not to bring this new point to fruition- at least not now. If anything, though, Kouji now knew that Atomsk was a man of character, and somebody that he could definitely trust down the road.

There were more puzzle pieces to be put together, but that would come later, as Kouji still had a job to do. "That's...pretty noble of you, Atomsk." Kouji responded genuinely, "I don't know what the nature of you guys' relationship is, but I hope that whatever is going on gets solved. If there's anything I can do, let me know."

This was the first time in the conversation that Kouji's words didn't have an ulterior motive. Now that he knew Atomsk was a friend (or could be, at least,) he could afford to let down his guard a little. "Well, you've been pretty open with me, so I'm willing to follow suit. I'm an open book- ask me anything you'd like!"

"Well I'm not really sure what to ask man. I guess I'm confused why YOU are here. You're a lot closer to me then anyone else. I wonder why you stick around. I have a motive. But what about you?"

Even without knowing Cataclysms true intentions, Koujji seemed out of place here. He was disciplined and fairly normal, not at all like the other members. The violent nature of the group would be enough to scare most off. But Kouji stuck around, even while being kept at arms length. It made Atomsk raise more then one eyebrow at Kouji and his situation.

It was a fair question, and one that Kouji didn't feel the need to falsify. "My motive for sticking around? I wish I had one as selfless as you, to be honest. My goal is simple- to get rid of Team Rocket, or at least do my part in helping to disband 'em. My family's run into some semblance of trouble at their hand, and I've also been ambushed a few times. I'm tough, but not foolish enough to attempt to take down an entire syndicate by myself. When the Cataclysm recruiters approached me with this gig, every fiber of my being told me to steer clear."

He stopped for a minute, realizing that he was about to make himself somewhat vulnerable to (essentially) a complete stranger, "I've always had kind of an easy life. My family inherited a pretty successful custom Pokeball shop in Celadon, so we've always been pretty well off. I always had a pretty rigid schedule and never really dealt with much conflict outside of Pokemon battles. Not really wanting much to do with confrontation, however, I typically never stood for much. I don't think Dad liked that too much, though he'd never say it to my face. I guess I got to thinking about it, and decided that not only could I do something good, but this could also be my chance to take a stand against something big, something threatening. I don't like things hurting me or my family, but I guess my ulterior motive is more self-actualization."

He took a deep breath- it was refreshing being able to open up to an actual human being for once, "Once this job got posed and I got my thoughts sorted out, that was it. I guess that's what keeps me here- some naive sense of protecting and being a part of something bigger than myself. A little selfish maybe, but I guess thwarting an evil syndicate will supercede the quest for ones self in the history books."

Atomsk wasn't sure whether or not to be happy or sad about the blissful ignorance the Kouji lived in. If only he knew. From this short conversation, Atomsk guessed that Kouji's views would definitely clash with Cataclysm. Atomsk was happy. A pure soul. He hope Kouji would be able to stay that way. But the unfortunate truth was that not a lot of people can keep from being corrupted.He hoped that Kouji would be one of the few who would not succumb.

He thought to himself, should he reveal the truth to him? He thought about it, but he would not do it. Despite him not enjoying this path, he would not betray the feelings of his friend. He would let the issue lie for now, although he wished to keep others away from this dark path.

"Yeah. We will definitely go down in history man. But let me impart some advice onto you. Don't lose yourself. You're one of the good ones. I don't want to see someone like you fall. I've seen too many people lose themselves to an obsession." Myself included.......he thought to himself.

Kouji was strangely comforted by the encouragement of his new friend. He wasn't too much older than Kouji, yet that somehow seemed even more reassuring. Was Atomsk hiding something? Most assuredly- however, (for the moment anyway,) this was enough. Atomsk surely had issues of his own, and just getting to become this close with somebody on the team would prove to be quite a boon.

Genuinely touched by his concern, Kouji let a smile escape his lips, "Heh, I'll do my best man. Thanks for the concern, I really do appreciate it."

Between the two of them sizing each other up and engaging in an abrupt heart to heart, the two had come across a town. Kouji wasn't sure if this was the target area or not, but decided to make himself scarce anyway, "Looks like we're here...maybe? In any case, I've got some things I need to pick up from the Mart. I'm gonna run on ahead- come grab me when we're ready to move on."

"Lost yourself yet?" a woman's voice piped up behind Atomsk. Mykeisha was standing there, perhaps a little too close for a human, smiling lips covered by a fan.

Atomsk had lost one companion and gained another one in almost the same moment. He was a little uncomfortable with the distance between the two of them. He took a few steps back, putting a bit of distance between the two of them, before addressing the woman. "You give me far too little credit Mykeisha. I've braved the wilds long enough to know how to make it from point A to point B."

"Oh, you know I didn't mean that," Mykeisha grinned under her fan, "I see you've been somewhat busy, but the Boss gave you a task, didn't he? You don't mind me tagging along, do you?"

"Jesus, I really wanted to go this one alone. although I guess it can't be helped at this point. You're getting the same orders I gave Kouji though. No Pokémon. No fighting. And I talk to the girl alone. No eavesdropping either." 'No fun,' Mykeisha added in her mind. Atomsk tossed another cigarette butt to the side of the road. Eevee, yawned and jumped off his shoulder as he did this, and began to trot next to him. He stuck another cigarette in his mouth. He usually didn't smoke this much, but he had an uncomfortable day, and was anxious for what the rest of the day had in store.

Mykeisha simply giggled, as if she found some part of Atomsk's attitude amusing. 'And which one of us is superior?', she thought, after all, she was one of the very first members of Team Cataclysm. She did have suspicions of Atomsk's attitude, of which she had confirmed on her own secret accord, but she wasn't going to do anything about it. Why? Perhaps for her own oh-so-mysterious reasons.

There could be many reasons for it, one could theorize, why she does this stuff. After all, Mykeisha was in a similar state as Kojiro. They'd been seperated from the ones they'd cared about. Of course, Kojiro had no memory of his missing one. But he had somebody to help him, who cared for him. Perhaps that was the reason Mykeisha did nothing about Atomsk. She didn't know all the details involving him personally, but she only needed to know the jest of it. However, Mykeisha...
"Well then, Mister Leader, lead the way before she escapes."

"Escape? Escape from what?" Atomsk was wondering what she ment by escape. Was Junko captured? Was she on the move again? Mykeisha however, did another but giggle, twirl around, fan held out to her side, as she went passed Atomsk, nearly grazing him with her dress, and continued walking on, signalling Atomsk to follow.

"I don't like being taken for a ride Mykeisha!" He said as he picked up his pace to catch up to her, as she has bounded ahead of his quite easily. "What do you mean?" The tone of his voice was clearly unhappy. Distressed even. He hoped that this would give her a reason to tell him what she meant, but he knew it would take a bit more prodding to get anything useful out of her.

Honestly , Mykeisha thought, the man was hopeless. She spun to face him. "Tell me, what's mystery woman to you anyway?" Mykeisha asked.

Atomsk grew angry quite quickly. He really didn't like revealing things about himself, and revealing anything about him and Junko was something he was even less willing to do. "Last time I checked I didn't answer to you Mykeisha. It's none of your business anyways. It's important to Kojiro AND myself. And that's all you're getting."

"Oh, so stingy, but so pink, like a Clampearl in comparison." Mykeisha complained.

"Yeah well I'm not one for letting others in. Sorry to dissapoint." Atomsk threw the last butt to the ground. Junko didn't know he smoked. He was sure would take a little heat for it, but he was sure it wouldn't bug her too much. Still, he felt as if he had to hide it for some reason. They were close now. It wasn't a long walk by any means. He stopped when he say a group dealing with some Rocket Grunts some distance away. And there she was. Junko. How long had it been. At least a year. A bit longer then that. He remembered. The last time he saw her was the day before Kojiro disappeared. He had told her to meet him outside their hometown of Cerulean. In the clearing past the bridge where they used to watch the stars. It seemed so far away now. Hell, it seemed like a different life. A different him. He never showed up. He found out about Kojiro. And he began his search. What would she say? How would she feel? He wasn't sure, but at this point, he really didn't care. He wanted to see her, regardless of the insults and scolding that were likely to come from it. He looked to Mykeisha. "Well, this is where we part. I've got business to take care of." He left her to her own devices, and began his brisk walk towards the group. He slowed his walk as he got closer, each step feeling heavier then the last. He stopped short, but close enough that she could hear him. "Junko....' He said before pausing, unsure how to address her from here.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kouji Ichigaara Character Portrait: Mykeisha Bruma Character Portrait: Kenji Akihiko Character Portrait: Junko Takashi Character Portrait: Atomsk Walker Character Portrait: Kael Skye
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#, as written by Azazel

"I agree, they obviously are not the ones we need...probably too ignorant to have information entrusted to them," Junko stated flatly to Kenji's question. As she made to turn around towards the city, the call of her name stopped her in her tracks and she turned towards the source. Messy black hair and familiar blue eyes caused Junko's own eyes to widen a bit before narrowing dangerously thin. She stampered towards the male, her finger pointed towards him in what was supposed to be an intimidating appearance.

"You!" she shouted, as she poked the male in his chest, "You left me there without a word! Do you know how long I stayed at that clearing waiting for you!" her voice growing a decibel with each word. She resisted the urge to slap Atomsk as her hand flew up. She placed it down at her side before sighing. Turning towards her group, she shook her head before returning her attention towards Atomsk.

"You and I have a lot to catch up on, but we have other pressing matters at hand. Our business will have to wait," she spoke, her tone in a flat, monotonous style. In all honesty she was seething. He had told her to meet him the day before Kojiro disappeared at a small clearing. It was one of her favorite spots as a child as the three of them used to stare at the stars, counting them, naming them, silly things like that. She waited for hours and he never showed. Kovaa had woken her up the next day as she had fallen asleep in the clearing, waiting for Atomsk to appear. It seemed important, at least to him and she was furious when he never showed.

Atomsk smiled. Strangly enough, he enjoyed the scolding. Just like old times. She turned away and put her attention on the Rocket Grunts once more. He looked forward to talking to her. He walked up behind her and wrapped a single arm around her shoulders. He gave her a tight hug. "It's good to see you again." He said, leaning down so he could whisper it to her.

He let go, and walked over to a nearby building. He leaned up against it, observing from a distance. He made sure he was in sight, that way Junko knew he wasn't going to run. It was then that Nano began yelling at him. He looked down to the Pokémon. She looked upset. He leaned his head to the side, a signal to jump onto his shoulder. Nano complied, and began playfully chewing on his ear once she was a top her perch, She growled angrily. Atomsk could tell she was jealous. He raised his hand to pet the small Eevee. She ceased her chewing and enjoyed Atomsk's affection, although it was clear on her face that she was still unhappy.

Atomsk looked intently at the group. He knew what he had been ordered to do. Saving the grunts. But he had no such plans. He was going to let them be captured. This was a small act of defiance. All he would allow himself. He wondered what Junko and her companions would do to them. He pushed the thought from his mind. Not really caring in all honesty. They were Team Rocket. Scum as far as he was concerned. Although he was no better. He smiled to himself. He couldn't be sad now. Junko was here. He looked forward to catching up.

A woman stood among the trees, off of the clearing, and grinned, a Beautifly fluttering around her, despite such a Pokemon not being native to Kanto. Clearly Atomsk had some kind of connection with Mystery Woman. Mykeisha always felt as if she needed to 'know things' about mysterious people, probably out of, and her Boss was first on that list, and if she was bored again, she'd find stuff about her seemingly not-as-interesting teammates. She'd gotten a clue Atomsk was involved with him in some way. Of course, she wasn't a direct person, and Atomsk wasn't the most open of people either. So, she got most information by eavesdropping all the time, and the fact she was a ghost really helped with that, which is why she could simply stand in semi-clear view and simply observe behind people, or even in front of them, though the latter wasn't the case. She was only interested in Atomsk's peculiar decisions and the identity of the mystery woman, whom of which Mykeisha knew little else than her existence. Of course she had yet to notice somebody else whom of which would have been much more important to her.

Kael eyed the man as he walked into view with a little more caution than he normally would have when dealing with strangers. The man's whole demeanor seemed to scream shady to Kael. The fact that the guy didn't seem at all at odds with the fact that there were three members of the most notorious criminal band in the region was a clear warning indicator in his eyes. Or eye rather... He thought ruefully.

Junko seemed to know the man though as she stalked over and, less than subtly, began greeting the newcomer. Even with her obvious knowledge of the man, Kael frowned. He wondered if it might be her brother she spoke of finding, but dismissed the fact based on the way she was dealing with the appearance of the new guy. Kael leaned a little closer to Ravenna to see what her thoughts were regarding this new development. "Who do you suppose he is?" Even though the man didn't appear all that hostile, Kael still kept a hand close to his belt, ready to call on his own Pokemon in a moment's notice.

Ravenna looked a bit distracted, though her eyes were fixed on what was quite obviously an emotional reunion. She didn't need empathy to tell her that. But that man... he was such a dull shade of blue-grey, as though he'd once been brighter, but all the color had bled right out of him. She almost didn't notice, though, because something pinged on the edge of her awareness, the sensation of another's presence. It would have gone unnoticed in a city as large as this, with a population so dense, but it was too familiar for her not to notice. And yet... it couldn't be. Surely, her mind was playing tricks on her. Kei was dead. She'd dreamed her friend's demise as though she'd lived it, and the end had felt so final. Kei had known she was going to die, and then there had been only blackness. It was a nightmare that still gave her shudders, and unconsciously, Ravenna brought her hands up to wrap around her biceps, as though trying to ward off the cold.

She might have even turned around, but Kael spoke then, and the question let her focus on something much less worrisome than old memories. Tilting her head to one side owlishly, she blinked as he walked away, taking up residence against the side of a building. "A Minun to a Plusle," she said softly. A friend, perhaps even a counterpart; it was too muddled to tell. Feelings weren't things she always understood, even if she could detect them, and in the end, Junko's irritation overpowered nearly everything but the affection anyway. The depth of that, she couldn't gauge, but it seemed important.

It was all a few too many developments for her, perhaps, and with the niggling sensation of being watched in the back of her mind, she chewed absently on her lip and turned back to the Rocket Grunts. By now, though, they weren't alone. Of course not; the events had caused major structural damage, and people were beginning to gather. In the distance, she could hear police sirens-- in all likelihood, someone had called in the officers. The Grunts were by now looking very uncomfortable, but clearly too frightened of Kenji to risk running away. The blond one felt resigned, if irritated, and the other two weren't even thinking clearly enough to read, probably as overwhelemed by the goings-on as she was. The milieu of emotion and thought here was making her feel faintly nauseous, and she swallowed thickly.

"The police will be here soon," she announced, seemingly to everyone and no one simultaneously. "Maybe we should..." she stopped, truly unsure as to how to continue the thought. Press on to Vermillion? Would Junko's friend want to come? Would the others prefer to stay? She found herself unable to ask the questions, her brain addled by the intensity of what was occurring.

"Yeah, I suggest we book it. The fuzz gives me the jitters and I don't like the look we're paintin'. The last thing I want is to be affliated with these fools," Kenji suggested, backing away from the trio of Rocket's and back toward his own group. The first thing he noted was the arrival of a stranger pairing off with Junko. This earned an arched eyebrow from Kenji and a look to Light. Both shrugged at each other in unison. "Yappin' isn't gettin' us anywhere quick, so let's get this show on the road, yeah? I say we leave these stiffs to their own devices." Kenji posited. He really didn't want to have anything to do with the police. "Dunno, but we can find out later," Kenji answered Kael.

"We still got a job to do, and we can't do it if we're bein' questioned."

"Yeah, because everyone loves talking about everything and nothing all at once," Junko replied to Kenji. She turned her attention towards Ravenna as she spoke up. Taking a final glance towards Atomsk through the corners of her eyes, she returned her attention towards Ravenna and smiled. "We should press on towards Vermilion. We should leave these guys," Junko stated, jabbing her thumb in the direction of the grunts, "to Officer Jenny," she finished, crossing her arms against her chest. She tossed a glance over her shoulder towards Atomsk.

"If you are coming with us, I suggest you come introduce yourself to the group. I am not doing that for you," she shouted over her shoulder and smiled back to the group. "Shall we?" she asked as she began walking away from the group. She didn't want to waste any more time by standing around doing absolutely nothing to help further her goal. And to find Bill's Pokemon of course.

Kouji departed the Mart a few supplies wealthier, and Croqua gaining a berry to hold onto. Croc was especially vulnerable to to status infections, so Kouji figured that a Chesto Berry would help his developing immune system some. As he began to reunite with Atomsk, however, he noticed that the pair of them had suddenly become quite a handful!

Not really attempting to stay out of sight, himself and Croc stood at the outskirts of the Mart. Kouji was a fair distance away, but still close enough to make out significant features in each of the new faces. Closest to Atomsk was a female trainer whose posture signified a persona of confidence. He heard her say something in an irritated tone towards his companion, though he couldn't decipher anything coherent.

"That's gotta be the chick Atomsk was ordered to tail..." Kouji reasoned, seeing only one other girl present.

Other girl? Kouji's eyes were immediately drawn to the trainer farther back, closer to the red-haired trainer. Her stance seemed withdrawn, indicating that she felt withdrawn, or at least introverted from the rest of her companions.

Before he could indulge in this girls beauty, however, Kouji was drawn to the other two trainers present. He wasn't so much interested in the brawny guy, but rather the crimson-haired trainer who stood comforting this beauty. He seemed familiar, though he couldn't put his finger on why exactly...

There was a lot to think about- it didn't help that the group appeared to be moving. Police sirens could be heard in the distance, and as the group pressed onward, the apprehended Rocket Grunts came into sight. It was here that Kouji needed orders- should he stay behind and be Atomsk's backup, or head back to HQ? He stayed within eyesight- if the other members saw him, then so be it, but he needed confirmation from his "leader" now on what his priorities should be. As curious as Kouji was now about these 'friends' of Atomsk, Kouji's task was complete.

"Wait, what?!"

He blurted out the statement without thinking as Junko called out to the 'scruffy' newcomer leaning against a building. Kael had been, rather enthusiastically, nodding along as Kenji suggested leaving the site and the grunts behind to continue on their own 'errand' while dodging the, arduously long, questions of the local police; but his nodding was interrupted as the new individual was invited over and, even more so, to accompany them. Junko seemed to know him, but still....

His arrival seemed to be all too convenient in Kael's mind. Perhaps the appearance of the Rockets and the days' events were starting to get to him and he was possibly becoming paranoid, or maybe Ravenna's '...Minun to a Plusle..." comment was still lingering in his head as well. But the nagging feeling persisted in the back of his mind when he looked over the man once more. "Hmph..." Kael let out the sound without warning as he gave up on trying to rationalize everything. "Let's just go, this waiting around is starting to grate on..."

He left his sentance trail off as he caught the sight of someone standing out from the scenery. The wiry, black-haired youth stood staring at their group from a distance, not showing any signs of coming closer or retreating. At first, Kael thought the guy was curious about three Rockets in the middle of the streets, but his eyes seemed to be locked on to where Ravenna and Kael stood, a bit away from the Rockets.

Not remembering a time anyone had stared at Kael for more than a few seconds before averting their eyes, he surmised the man must be staring at the pink-haired woman next to him. Kael lifted his eye again as he realized he had just been 'checking her out' himself as he mulled the question over in his head. "Uh..." he tapped Ravenna lightly on the shoulder and pointed in the direction of the man, "I think you have an admirer..."

"You sure he ain't yours champ? You're quite the handsome catch," Kenji teased as he followed Junko away from the center of trouble they've found themselves in. In his eyes, the further away from the fuzz, the better.

"Eh?" Ravenna emerged from her distracted thought process at the statement, following the direction Kael was indicating, trying to decide if she recognized the person there. But she didn't, and she shook her head. "I don't think so," she replied simply, if with a small amout of residual puzzlement. It wasn't like she'd never been stared at before; people had done so all the time back home, largely because they thought her weird. Folk were naturally curious, and she didn't let that sort of thing bother her.

That said, this situation was hardly the most comfortable overall, and her shoulders slumped in visible relief when the group started moving again by consensus. The man Junko had spoken to hadn't moved yet, but she knew, in that strange way she sometimes knew things, that the faded fellow would not be leaving them quite yet. Being a relatively trusting sort, she shared none of Kael's reservations about this. Junko, despite her words, did not seem uneasy to have him around, and that was enough for her, at least for the moment. Maybe, when they were further away from the crowd and all the distraction, she'd put her more unique talents to use, but they were all but pointless with so many people in such close proximity, all of them feeling one thing or another with strength: anxiety, suspicion, curiosity... it was a heady mix, certainly.

Eager to be away from this place, Ravenna spared one last look for the Rockets and followed in the wake of Junko and Kenji, already anticipating the relative peace and quiet of the road. She'd not quite expected this much excitement when she'd awoken this morning, that was for sure.

To Mykeisha's disappointment, she could hardly hear a word of what any of these people were saying. Not to mention that nothing hugely interesting was going on, the most intriguing thing was probably the tied up Rocket grunts (and perhaps one of the girls had some of the most beautiful pink hair she'd ever seen). She contemplated letting them escape, but decided against it. Mykeisha decided it was best to return to the base, so she could eat, and hopefully something interesting was going on. That was how Mykeisha operated, to her own amusement, which came in the form of curiosity. However, witnessing a fellow spy, she decided there was one more thing she could do, and hid behind a tree.

"Hello, Mister Stalker." the ghost woman's voice greeted behind Kouji, in a similar matter as she did to Atomsk, being rather close to him like the creeper she was. How she ended up there as if she appeared out of thin air was unexplainable beyond the Pokémon universe.

Mykeisha's sudden appearance quite startled the usually un-flappable Kouji, though her meddlesome demeanor hardly surprised him. Croc was even more startled, to the point that he began angrily chattering at her, bearing his fearsome teeth with hopes of intimidating her. "Oh my," she responded to the pokemon in false astonishment, bringing fan up to her face.

"You're lucky I didn't bring my sword- with my reflexes the way they are, I might've cut you in two..." Kouji retorted, quickly withdrawing Croc to avoid drawing further attention to himself, "And I'm not stalking anybody. Atomsk is in charge of the op- I'm waiting for his word while observing these other guys. They look friendly enough, but you can't be too sure."

" And again I am asked the question of why a Psyduck gets a headache when another one already has, I've already taken care of it." she responded.

Kouji scratched his head, "And I had been doing so well avoiding this crazy chick...oh well, may as well indulge her and be done with it..."

He was in no way interested in anything this bizarre officer had to say- still, if Atomsk was simply going to send the two back to HQ, it may be good to get in cozily with another officer should things turn sour. Kouji's recent conversation with Atomsk left him with the impression that not all was what he thought Team Cataclysm would be. Not that he didn't have his suspicions before- he simply needed to hear it from a fellow member.

Mustering all of the patience and mock interest he could, Kouji spoke, "So, Mykeisha, what brings you here? Atomsk was pretty deadset on doing this op alone- I imagine curiosity got the better of you?" He made sure to take a few steps back, being understandably uncomfortable next to the woman who believed she was dead.

"Well, I could ask the same question, but as I said about the Psyducks..." she faltered a bit and gazed at Atomsk. "A servant like yourself wouldn't mind doing one task for me, call it a dying will, if you may." she played with her fan and glanced at him. "After all, we had so much fun this morning without you, right? You must be becoming like me to do something new and exciting, right?"

Kouji went from confused to irritated in a matter of milliseconds. He had learned to simply go with the flow when she started spouting off nonsense like the bizarre Psyduck analogy, but he wasn't too keen on being referred to as a servant. It was bad enough that he was technically supposed to take orders from her, but being belittled at her expense was where he drew the line. Especially when he was fairly sure that he was every bit her equal in a fight.

"Let's get something clear- I can't do anything about you pulling rank, but nowhere in my contract did it say I had to put up with being called your servant. I'm getting paid to fight Rockets and run ops for you guys, not put up with your bullshit." Kouji paused to let himself cool down- he was usually good about keeping his emotions in check, but something about this bizarre woman rubbed him the wrong way.

Composing himself, he calmly replied, " any case, it sounds like this 'task' of yours is gonna be more of an order. If that's the case, I'm all ears."

Mykeisha frowned under her blue and pink 'mask', but then went back to smiling, as if never offended at all. "Ever hear the expression, 'ghosts have no mouths'? Anyway, I was hoping you'd follow Atomsk, if you please, for the Boss's sake, perhaps? He's not in trouble, but I want you to report his actions to me whenever possible, alright?" she ended with a light smile, but then she turned to face away from Kouji.

Kouji put both of his hands into the pockets of his black dress pants, putting the weight on his hind leg. Was Mykeisha serious? Why would she be interested in the happenings of Atomsk? Even more curious still was why she was asking him to do it, when she was more than capable of spying herself. Either way, Kouji wasn't having any of it, and he had justification to refuse this order.

"Sorry, but maybe you missed the part where I mentioned my contract. Spying on my colleagues has nothing to do with overthrowing the Rockets." He paused a moment to reflect on the fact that she mentioned Kojiro, "If Kojiro's got suspicions that Atomsk might be a Rocket, then I'll go and hear it from his own mouth."

He had no delusions that Atomsk was an enemy, as it contradicted all of his observations- this was simply to get Mykeisha off of his case. Still, he grounded himself a bit more- he wasn't sure how Mykeisha would react. She always seemed to have her own agenda, and he wouldn't put it past her to react a little more violently. Calmly standing a bit taller, he would put the ball in Mykeisha's court, "I think we're done here, unless you've got something else for me?" He sincerely hoped that the former was not the case.

"Do you honestly think I signed any contracts to become this?!" she shouted, not daring to turn around or make a move. She went silent for a few seconds, but then spoke up again, her voice wavering slightly, "N-no, It's okay... I can do it myself..." She paused again, standing like a statue facing the crowd she was watching before, at Atomsk, the mystery woman, the pink-hair, the big guy and the cyclops. She turned her head slightly and looked back at Kouji. "I only ask you this; Do you want to become stronger?"

Kouji was once again taken very much off guard, even jumping a little at her sudden outburst. Kouji was used to seeing Mykeisha engaging in her own idiosyncratic devices, but now she seemed almost vulnerable. Kouji retraced his words, trying in vain to figure out what the catalyst was for her abrupt distress. He could tell that something was genuinely troubling her, but he hadn't enough information (nor enough motivation) to decipher what.

He only became more puzzled as the question about becoming stronger escaped her lips. Kouji caressed Bignacious's Pokeball, fearing that anything he responded with might send her down a more violent outburst. Rational wordplay was all but lost on this one, so it seemed.

Kouji decided that it would be prudent to be frank with her on this answer, fearing that antagonizing her any more would draw unwanted attention.

"Stronger, huh? There's a loaded question. I guess I could warn you that curiosity killed the cat, but apparently death has no real hold over you these days..." The quip was intended to give him some time to ponder the surprisingly deep question, "I guess my quest for strength started with Dad. I never cared much for any sort of confrontation- Pokemon battles, arguments, debates, they were all kind've a drag. I only took up battling as a way to get Dad's attention. At least, that's how it started. Our Pokeball shop got hit by some Rocket Thugs back when I was just getting started. Nobody was hurt- nobody that mattered anyway. But watching my Dad fight them- I guess that's when I knew my purpose. All my life, I kinda stood by the sidelines, never picking a side or standing for anything for fear of stepping on someones toes. Dad fights to be the worlds best Dragon Trainer- I guess I fight for myself."

He paused for a moment, "Well, I guess I can give myself a little more credit than that. I guess Pokemon training was sort've my way of making a stand. If I could battle, I could protect what was most important to me. At the time it was my family, but now that I'm here, I guess I have some crazy notion that I'm gonna make some sort of noble contribution to getting rid of an evil syndicate. I'm not looking for glory- I'm just tired of standing on the sidelines."

He made eye-contact with his superior, "So I guess the answer to your question is 'yes.' I do, in fact, wanna become stronger. Why do you ask?"

Mykeisha was close to being teary-eyed from Kouji's story. Listening to the life story of a living man was not too different from listening to that of a dead one, but rather, instead of ending in eternal regret or peace, the story had a continuance. It also caused Mykeisha to remember she had not spoken with real ghosts in a very long time.

She rotated her head more so her eyes would meet his. "As long as you have the resolve to get stronger, you're good enough for this Team. If you do it to protect someone, that is true honor." If only she had another protecting her that time, not just another Pokemon, but another human, then just maybe...

Mykeisha was a paragon of unpredictability this day! Kouji was astonishingly at a loss for words, simply because he had no idea how to read this woman!

"Geez, one minute she's talking down to me like I'm some sort of puppet, then the next, she's trying to build me up as some sort of hero...what in the world is her angle in all of this?"

Sensing no malice or ulterior motives to her words, Kouji responded in kind, "Um...well, thank you Mykeisha." He wasn't used to talking about himself at this length, so he wasn't really sure how to react to someone's judge of his character. Still, as grudging as it was considering the source, he was a little relieved to hear some genuine words of encouragement.

He would've felt bad not returning her sentiments, but given the nature of their relationship, he didn't feel he had a lot to say. The girl believed that she was dead- for all he knew, she may interpret a compliment as an insult! Still, ever preferring forgiveness afterwards in favor of permission beforehand, he would try his luck.

"Look, I know we aren't exactly the best of friends, and I can't really sympathize with you. But empathy is something I've gotten good at over the, uh, I hope things start looking up for you." Kouji decided that this whole encouragement thing was something he dreadfully needed work on.

Atomsk smiled at the invitation. The perfect excuse to tag along. He planned on doing a little sweet talking, but it turned out to be unneccesary. Atomsk looked to Junko and her group of companions. "Hey give me one second to tell my friends! I'll be right back." Atomsk turned tail, and briskly jogged over to Kouji and Mykeisha. The two were talking, and Atomsk didn't particularly care what it was about. He looked to the two of them, speaking up as to grab their attention. "Hey you two! I'm going a ways farther with these guys. Why don't you head back? All three of us missing would leave us vulnerable. Especially an officer. I'll head on alone." How I wanted it in the first place, he thought to himself.

Mykeisha frowned. Them going elsewhere meant it was about impossible to track them. Not to mention Kouji refused to take on her task, of which she'd issued precisely for this type of situation. However, Mykeisha was never, ever, the one at lost, as she did have another plan. "But what of your task?"

"I'm performing my task. I'm following the girl. I never planned on saving the grunts. It is far too risky, and the information I'm likely to obtain is invaluable. I'm not going to give up this oportunity for just three grunts." He paused to think. Maybe these guys coming along had some use. "Since I'm going this part alone, you guys can make yourselves useful, and we can fulfill both parts of this mission with some bonus to boot. Considering the size of Saffron City and the previously huge occupation that Team Rocket had here, I'm sure that there are more then just those three Grunts that you will find locked up. I know it's risky, but if you two could stage a jail break, we would not only be releasing potentially hundreds of Grunts, we'd also be giving them a reason to come over to the side of Cataclysm. You think you two are up for the challenge?"

"Ask the Boss for large scale things, but I'm not up to that sort of thing..." Mykeisha responded. At that, she simply started walking in the direction of the base. Her appetite at that time as equal to that of the human energy consumption rate.

Kouji couldn't help but feel that Atomsk was simply saying "Piss off" in a very candycoated manner. Even more ineresting was Atomsk, no higher up on the chain of command than Kouji himself, was giving orders to an officer. It was a day of strange occurrences, and as curious as Kouji was about the emergence of this new group and their relation to everything, he decided that today was not the day to solve this mystery.

Instead, he decided that it may be prudent to take advantage of this offer presented to him. All this time he had waited for someone to ask him to do his job- with Atomsk's proposal, he would do one better in that he could make a significant splash without having been "officially" told.

As soon as Mykeisha brushed aside the proposal, Kouji chimed in, "I'll do it. This op isn't an official order, right? I'm low man on the totem pole, so I've got less to lose than Mykeisha does. She can go back to HQ and relay all that's happened here. I'll stage the jailbreak- one man will be easier to breach the prison with, or if worse comes to worse, it'll be easier for just me to escape."

Not that he was particularly interested in making any friends, (or for that matter, springing Rockets from prison,) but this act of unsolicited servitude might grant him the loyalty and trust of some of the higher-ups. Kouji didn't care to be in the dark, and to that end, would do anything to find the truth.

"Well then by all mean Kouji. In the meantime..." He turned around and began walking back towards the group. He paused, before he was out of earshot, and turned back. "Thanks for earlier Kouji. It was......nice!" Atomsk turned away, and walked back to Junko's group. "Since I'm tagging along, I'm Atomsk." He said without looking at anyone in particular. He was far too nervous. At this point, he didn't care if Junko knew. He stuck a cigarette in his mouth and lit it up, calming himself greatly.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Junko Takashi Character Portrait: Atomsk Walker Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Atomsk and Junko

Atomsk walked along with the group, making sure to hang in the back, avoiding pretty much everybody. This made him look incredibly suspicious, and he wasn't comfortable with that. He also wasn't comfortable with a large group of unknown people around him either. So really it was the lesser of two evils. Besides he had Junko to vouch for him. She would chalk up any of his odd behavior to him just being nervous. He hoped the others would do the same. He took another drag of his cigarette, trying to calm himself. Nano was yelling loudly into his ear. She didn't like him smoking. He made sure to keep it out of her face when she rode on his shoulder, but she still complained, more for his sake than her own. He sighed, dropping the remaining stub to the ground. He looked over to the small Pokémon, with a look of apology on his face. She didn't like Junko, but that was the whole reason they were there. He petted her softly. He kept thinking he was sorry, and he believed she got the point because she calmed down some.

Atomsk was growing anxious, and decided that, as opposed to sitting there longer and just beating around the bush, he would simply bite the bullet, and would confront Junko. Atomsk gave Nano one last pet, and picked up his pace to a light jog, easily making his way to the front of the group, towards Junko.

"So hows it going then beautiful?" He knew it probably wasn't apropriate, but he could think of no other way to address her, and hoped to break the tension some.

As soon as they left Saffron, Junko could feel the silence and awkwardness creep around the group. Most of the team either stayed quiet or tried to hum to themselves a tune to break the silence. She smiled slightly as they continued to walk, quietly and just hands stuck in the pockets. Zeki poked at her cheeks, a bored expression on the Meowth's face as she stared at Junko. Junko merely swatted Zeki's paw away before picking the pokemon up and setting her on the ground, forcing her to walk beside Junko. A triumphant smile forced its way to her lips as Meowth tried her best at annoying Junko by crying. Thankfully, Atomsk approached, the smell of cigarette smoke following after him, and spoke.

"[color=##0D4F8B]You have a lot to explain mister,[/color]" Junko stated in a flat tone, her crimson gaze focused on the blue-eyed male beside her and ignoring his statement. "What was so important that you left me there, waiting for you in that field?" she continued, the same monotonous tone lingering. She placed her hands on her hips, her gaze narrowing into slits as she continued to stare. She had waited the whole day or Atomsk to show up. It seemed so important to him that she actually took the day off from training to see what had him so riled up. When he hadn't shown up, all the anger just built up and was slowly exerting through now that he had appeared. Zeki hissed up at Atomsk before jumping back onto Junko's shoulder, the pokemon giving a flat stare as her tail flicked back and forth.

"Well I heard about Kojiro and........I panicked. I promised myself I would protect him, and the moment I forgot that for even a second, the moment I try to find some happiness for myself......" Atomsk trailed off, looking away as he did. He felt guilty. He had left her. His feelings were a stew of pain and regret. Most of all though, above all else, he wanted to tell her why he asked her to meet him there that day. He looked down now, obviously looking for the words that he so desperately wished to convey to her. But in the end, he couldn't. Why wouldn't he let himself tell her? Why did he follow Kojiro on his insane endevours? He didn't know anymore really. He was just going along the motions now. He was a horse who was chasing a carrot. A horse who had long ago learned the trick, but still chased the carrot, because it was all he knew anymore.
Today sucked. All these emotions. He had been okay. He had been happy for so long, or as close to happy as he could get. He exhaled. He couldn't finish. He hung his head, and then rose it, looking to Junko with his signature, goofy smile, looking to her for something. Anything.

Junko rose an eyebrow to Atomsk's explanation. Kojiro had disappeared not too long ago, so how had he known about it before she did? She was about to question him further when Zeki poked her head, pushing it forward while glaring at her. Junko pushed the pokemon down her shoulder and returned her attention to Atomsk. With a sigh, she slumped her shoulders and watched as he hung his head with a goofy smile appearing on his lips.

"Whatever, you know I can't do anything against that face," she nearly stuttered as she resisted the urge to punch him. She wanted to though, and the urge was a lot stronger than her control, but in the meantime she wouldn't. "Seeing as you're still around, I take it your search hasn't gone as well as mine has," she stated, barely above a whisper. She was worried now. Kojiro was missing and she had no idea where he was. She brought her arms up, almost as if she were trying to warm herself up from an imaginary cold. Zeki rubbed her head against Junko's as she patted the pokemon, eliciting a purr as she curled into Junko's hair.

"I haven't seen him in such a long time," she continued. She turned to Atomsk and pushed his head a bit, in a friendly gesture as she had done so many years ago.

Atomsk let out a small laugh as Junko pushed his head. He smiled, but her most recent comment hurt more then any other could. Atomsk was lying to her. It hurt him to his core. But he smiled through it. He looked over to Junko. His smile was awkward and misplaced considering the somber atmosphere. "Yeah.....I miss him too." He trailed off again. He stopped, and grabbed her shoulder, firmly, but not painfully, in an attempt to reassure her, making sure to turn her towards him so she could see him so he could properly convey his feelings.

"I know that after leaving you like that, my promises probably mean nothing, but I will find him. I've always been looking. I never stopped looking." He raised his other hand, and extended his pinkie finger. It seemed childish, but no matter how old they got, pinkie promises always showed Junko how serious Atomsk was about something. "I promise. I'll bring him back to us"

Junko stared at Atomsk as he spoke. The group had already stopped for the evening, and one of the Arcanines had lit a small camp fire. She sighed in defeat, knowing she couldn't stay mad at Atomsk for too long even though she wanted to be. She wanted to be angry with him, to tell him to go away and just leave, but their friendship had pushed all the negativity away. Something in his eyes told her that he wasn't telling her everything, but she let it go for now. Before she could return the gesture, Zeki popped her hand in the way, grabbing Atomsk's pinky in her paw and shook it, giving him a rather odd look in the process.

"I guess Zeki made the promise for me," Junko laughed as she rubbed the Meowth's ears. Zeki purred happily before grabbing Junko's belt, handing it to her so that she could release her pokemon. "I suppose I should let the gang out then," she spoke as she grabbed the four balls and tossed them, releasing all of her pokemon at once. She smiled as Harag trotted up to her, nudging her gently with his head before staring at Atomsk. Something must have set the Houndoom off as he growled his disapproval of the male. Junko flicked his nose, softly before stooping eye level to the Houndoom.

"Don't be like that Harag, or I will put you back in your ball for the rest of the night," she threatened with a smile. Harag whined but obliged his trainer. Cerah had sat, watching with amusement in his eyes before sitting next to Junko, his golden black fur shining with the twilight aura. Kovaa hadn't minded so much and had stalked towards the other group, looking for something to eat while Fiamma neighed happily as she munched on the grass. Setia, however, remained in her ball. Junko didn't want to let the Gyarados out of her pokeball simply because she knew something so miniscule would set her off. She didn't want to have to explain to her new found friends that the red raging Gyarados was hers.

Atomsk knew his friends were around. they always were. He told them to hang back, but they kept close enough to keep an eye on him. He put his fingers in his mouth, and let out a loud whistle. B. A. E. G. E. It was the signal to come back to him. He waited a moment, and like clock work, his companions returned. He pulled out Sumo's ball, and tossed it high into the air. It opened revealing the large Pokémon inside. She roared as she was let free. She growled happily upon seeing him, and reached down to "hug" him. He cringed, and let her put her arms around him. She gave him a big slobbery kiss. It was pretty standard. After that little bit, Atomsk enojyed Sumo's presence greatly. She was enjoyable. He reached his arms around her massivee head, and gave her a big hug. Rai and Thai appeared together. The two were never far from eachother. Hothead swept down from the sky, and perched comfortably on Sumo's horn. Broke walked into camp with a casual strole. He saw others tense up as he approached. Zwelious were normally violent, and any other Zwelious he was sure would have the intention of tearing up the camp, but Broke strolled in and began licking his face calmly, as a dog would. He scratched Broke's heads, one hand for each head. Sumo laid on her stomach, making herself a wall and overhang for his group. He laid aginst her stomach casually. Rai and Thai took there places at his sides, as they always did. They always looked so serious, something he appreciated, and at the same time he wished they would lighten up some. Hothead stayed atop his pearch on Sumo's head. Broke laid his heads on Atomsk's lap. and Nano remained on his shoulder.

Atomsk crossed his legs, and placed his arms on his lap. His hands hanging over his knees.He closed his eye's and began meditating. A strong body was only attainable through a strong mind. Atomsk had begun meditation many years ago. It alowed him to detach himself from everything. Even if it was for just a short while, he liked being able to distance himself from his problems. He took a deep breath in, and let his mind go free.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kenji Akihiko Character Portrait: Junko Takashi Character Portrait: Atomsk Walker Character Portrait: Kael Skye Character Portrait: Ravenna Fiori Character Portrait:
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#, as written by Ion


The following morning, the group rose and broke camp, Ravenna at least pleased to find that she woke quite warm, as the fire had not died overnight. Yawning and stretching her arms towards the dawning sun, she recalled all of her pokemon except Artemis, who was quite insistent that it was her turn to be out and about. Normally, she probably just would have walked with all her pokemon, but given the volume of people around her lately, she didn't want to block the entire route or anything. It was actually a funny thought, what they'd all look like with all their pokemon released and walking down the street, but she shelved it for the moment and kicked a bit of ash over the flames to bank them to nothing, throwing her bag over her shoulder.

Her hair, she'd just brush on the road, and everything else could wait until they hit Vermilion. The Pokemon Center there was bound to have rooms they could occupy for the night, not being nearly as large as Cerulean in terms of trainer population. Most of the denizens of Vermillion were artists or retirees, or at least they had been last time she was there. That was only a couple of years ago, though, so she had no reason to believe it would have changed much.

Indeed, when they at last arrived, it was to a scene quite lovely: the temperature was quite moderate today, a light summer breeze toying with their hair and the fabric of their clothing. Beyond the low-lying buildings, one could easily spot the docks and the glimmering sapphire expanse of the ocean's pristine waters. Off to the west lay the Gym, and she smiled fondly at her recollection of her battle there quite some time ago. It had been a real growing experience for her pokemon and herself both. But most of all, she had missed that ocean.

Bill had told them to seek out the police here for further information on Team Rocket, and they didn't have to look far. One of the many sisters, cousins, and aunts named Officer Jenny dashed by them even as they entered the main part of the city, holding a sheaf of document in one hand and shouting into a communicator of some kind, held in the other. Beside her, her Growlithe ran apace, looking intently in the direction she assumed the police station must be. "Well," Ravenna said airily, blinking slowly, "I suppose that must be the direction we want."

"No use standing around then," Kael said as he watched the little Growlithe running along beside Officer Jenny. It looked as if her tiny puppy was much smaller than his had been so long ago, but it could have just been him getting used to the increased size of his Arcanine. Stretching a kink out of his neck that had arisen from waking up frequently the previous night to tend to their fire, he began the steady trot after the policewoman. "Let's catch up!" He was unsure whether his enthusiasm stemmed from getting more information on their current 'mission', or the fact that he was now chasing an attractive woman...

Panting as the group reached the Police Station, Kael was amazed at how fast a woman could run in heels. "Holy crap..." he said between breaths. Reaching for the door handle, he forced himself back upright as he tugged the door open and stepped into a scene of complete and utter chaos. People ran about in every direction, papers were flying on and off desks, and it looked as if a Pidgeot had just finished whipping up a hurricane inside the building.

Eying the officer at the front desk, Kael let out a groan at seeing that it was someone other than one of the many Jenny's that littered the Police Forces. Any hope of using his charms to get the show on the road were hopelessly dashed at seeing the man. Lacking the subtle tact necessary in any situation so close after chasing a woman, Kael walked straight up to the man's desk and smacked a hand down. "Yo, Buddy! Who do we speak to around here for information on the Rockets?"

"... 'Yo buddy'[i] he says, like he owns the place. You sir, have a pair," Kenji muttered behind Kael. Never in all of his run-ins with the cops, had he ever called one buddy. It was always [i]"yes sir" or "no ma'am" or "please don't throw my ass in jail, I don't have bail money." Once over that threshold between police station and not police station, Kenji visible became more anxious. True, he hadn't done nothing wrong this time, but last time he was in a police station, he had a nice shiny pair of bracelets to go with the trip. Sure, he should have known this was going to happen, considering Bill told them, but it didn't make him any more comfortable. To his credit though, he presented himself very well. He even had a shirt on.

Even so, he tried to hide his goliath frame behind the rest of the party-- to no avail. Light saw what he was trying to do, and laughed at his plight. "If his ass gets put in jail, I vote we disown him. 'No officer, we don't know this heathen.' What do you think?" Kenji whispered to Ravenna. It was a funny joke, and maybe it helped him with the anxiety he felt. Or maybe he wasn't joking. His facial expression and tone certainly didn't do him any favors.

Ravenna fought to keep a straight face, clearing her throat a tad awkwardly. "Probably the only thing they'd arrest him for is being too... friendly?" She wasn't exactly sure what to call the demeanor Kael was going for here, and apparently neither was the officer at whom it was directed. Looking up at the hand and then following the trajectory to the face of the man with an eyepatch, he raised a single dark brow.

"That would be nobody, unless you have something more specific. We don't give out information on active investigations," he said simply, glancing the entire group over. He looked a smidge suspicious of Kenji and Atomsk, but the fact that they were in a group with two women as nonthreatening in appearance as Junko and Ravenna and a guy as... straightforward as Kael apparently eased any concern he may have had. Ravenna, for her part, felt the shifts in his emotions as he looked upon all of them in turn, and decided to press what little advantage she had in a situation like this, which was to say her slightly vacant-looking naivete.

"Please excuse us, sir," she said demurely, "but we're friends of Bill's, and his pokemon were recently kidnapped by Team Rocket. He sent us here for more information." She adjusted her own emotional barometer somewhat, sending subtle wavelengths of reassurance throughout the room, which resulted in the occasional easing of tensed shoulders or the smoothing of a creased brow, but not much more than that. Her goal wasn't to force anyone to do anything, just to help a bit.

Being a bit closer than the rest, the officer at the desk picked up on it quickly, and the slight frown he was wearing disappeared. "Look, I'm not in charge of who gets that information. I'll talk to the boss, but I can't guarantee anything. Wait here." Standing from his desk, he disappeared into an office in the back of the station, and didn't reemerge for a good ten minutes. When he did, he looked vaguely nonplussed. "The boss is really interested in meeting you," he said, tone echoing his mild surprise. "Please follow me." He led them to one end of the building, opening a meeting room for the lot of them. At the center of the room was an oval-shaped table, with black swivel chairs arranged around it. It was as yet empty; presumably, they would have to wait on this 'boss' person a bit longer yet.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kenji Akihiko Character Portrait: Junko Takashi Character Portrait: Atomsk Walker Character Portrait: Kael Skye Character Portrait: Ravenna Fiori Character Portrait:
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#, as written by Azazel


Junko woke to Harag nudging her face, trying to get his trainer up. She pushed his head away and glanced around, noticing a majority of the group was already awake. She yawned, stretching slightly as Zeki rolled to her side, purring still as she slept. Junko poked the pokemon's side, earning an annoyed meow before picking up the Meowth that lay limp in her hands. Junko laughed as she placed Zeki onto her shoulder and recalled all of her pokemon back into their balls. She didn't do much with her appearance, just throwing her hair into a ponytail as the group made their way.

Before she knew it, they had arrived at Vermilion City. It wasn't exactly as she remembered it, but it had been awhile since she had been there. Things change over the years, and it was nice to see that the City was still somewhat familiar at least. Officer Jenny ran passed the group, her Growlithe in tow as Ravenna took the opportunity to point out the direction they needed to go in. Junko remained silent as they followed suit. Her mind was still too preoccupied with other things than to join the conversation. Although she did have to chuckle slightly at Kael's approach to the station and Kenji's response to it.

"You forget, he's a pirate remember" she whispered to Kenji as he spoke about disowning him. "When did you adopt him?" she countered. The group was led away to a room. She took a seat in one of the chairs as the others did and waited for whomever was to appear. Her interest was peaked a bit at the rather unusual reply the officer stated. They were expected.

Atomsk opened his eyes to the rest of the group getting up to continue their little venture. Atomsk took no time in waking up his friends, returning Sumo to her ball. and following the rest of the group He had missed morning training. Normally Rai and Thai would have woken him up, but they slept through it as well. It was rare, but a day off was deserved every now and then. He remained silent, not particularly concerned with many of the others. He lagged behind the group very deliberatly, popping a cigarette into his mouth every 30 minutes or so, leaving a tail of smoke to follow behind the group. His friends began to scatter as they approached Vermillion City. They almost always did this, none of his Pokémon were particularly fond of cities or people other than himself. Only Nano remained, sticking to her shoulder perch as she always did.

As they approached the police station, Atomsk made sure he was taking in his surroundings. Any information that could be gained would be useful for Kojiro. He took the cigarette from his mouth and laid it on a ledge above the door. He had just started smoking it, and he had no intention of wasting it, regardless of how long they were going to remain in there. He walked in with the rest of the group, following an officer to the back of the building. He was unaware of the situation before, but now it seemed that Bill, a genius in the world of Pokémon, had his companions stolen from him. By Team Rocket none the less. Useful information already. If Atomsk could find a way to get these Pokémon into Cataclysm's hands, they could make for some nice bargining chips for some future endeavor. At the same time, they might draw unneccesary heat onto Cataclysm. Atomsk decided to see what the best option would be. For now he sat back listening for the information he desired.

Following the others into the room, Kael chose to remain standing and took a position at the far end of the room. His 'up front' approach with the desk clerk wasn't an entirely successful venture, but had gotten the ball rolling at least. He was beginning to think he would be better suited to listening and observing while the others explained their situation as he crossed his arms and leaned his shoulder against the wall. Having only one mouth and one, useable, eye, perhaps it was better using the ears he was gifted with. At least he had two of those. 'Why couldn't everything be as straight-forward as a Pokemon battle?' he thought. 'See and act.'

Suddenly becoming consciously aware of a rock lodged inside his shoe, he decided to claim one of the chairs and sat down, trying to dislodge the small stone. Leaning in the chair further, and further, and even further still.... There was a sudden blur of movement as a wheel on the chair broke off and Kael plummeted to the floor while the chair shot from under him. He tossed the miniscule pebble away from his new position on the floor and sprawled out with his arms spread to either side of him. "Let's say that chair was broken when we got here..." He said, pushing the toppled and wheel deprived chair away from him.

"This is kind of comfortable..." Crossing his arms behind his head, Kael was content at trading his embarassment for comfort. He could always listen in from the floor he supposed. 'Enjoy the simple things....' "See? ... Heathen," Kenji repeated beneath a mask of his fingers.

Naturally, it was at that moment that the man the desk clerk had termed 'boss' decided to walk in. He didn't really look like what one would expect of such a person, maybe, though Ravenna recognized him as having the color she'd been supposing he would: steely grey, metallic and resilient. To more conventional perception, he was young, perhaps in his early thirties, and lacked the uniform stiffness of the majority of the other officers, helped along by his slightly-shaggy dark hair and the glint of precipitous intelligence in his sea-colored eyes. In short, it was a simple matter to discern that he was far from the normal cop.

Spotting Kael on the ground, he arched a black brow but said nothing, choosing instead to scan over the rest of the faces, expression unreadable. "You're the ones Bill sent? He told me to expect you." He fixated for very brief seconds on the color of Ravenna's hair, then Junko's eyes and Kael's eyepatch. Kenji's tattoos produced a nearly-impreceptible nod, but he stopped short at Atomsk. "You're not one of them." It wasn't a question.

Atosmk looked at the man with an unwavering gaze. He didn't take particularly well to this man. He didn't like him the moment he walked into the door. He gave off this air of superiority that bugged Atomsk. He had no idea if this supposed observation was dead on or completely off, but he stuck with it for now, and it meant that Atomsk didn't like the man. He had to seem like he wasn't suspicious though. He needed to be firm, but not defensive. Atomsk hated these balancing acts. Facial expretions went a long way. So did tone of voice, posture, manarisms. A lot could put Atomsk in a position where he was being suspected of something.

He responded snarkily. "I wasn't aware it was invite only. But I'm sure Junko would put me down as her plus one." Atomsk made sure to look at the officer some, and then have his eyes trail off, as if he had lost interest. He assumed that it would piss the officer off, but he also assumed that it would get and suspicion and heat off his back at the same time. Better to be hated than suspected.

"Right, now that the pissin' contest is out of the way," Kenji broke in, almost tiredly. The last thing he needed was another one of his team to get in the face of an officer. Hell, if he was going to jail, then it'd be on his terms, not because of this mouthy Atomsk or Kael's shenanigans. Light couldn't help herself but chuckle at both Kael's misfortune and Atomsk's snark. "We're here because we can help. The faster you tell us what we can do, the faster we can do it, and then the faster we can get Bill's pokemon home. I don't know about any of you, but I'd be worried about them if they were any of mine." This garnered an approving nod from Light who had migrated from his shoulder to the top of his head. It gave her a better view of the room.

"So if you'd please, officer?" Kenji said, taking a seat in his chair and motioning for the detective to do the same.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kenji Akihiko Character Portrait: Junko Takashi Character Portrait: Atomsk Walker Character Portrait: Kael Skye Character Portrait: Ravenna Fiori Character Portrait:
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"Hm." If anything, the man seemed entirely bored by the whole situation, though it didn't stop him from narrowing his eyes just a bit at the attitude Atomsk had assumed. He was above such childish levels of deception, but for the moment, he didn't particularly care what the man's issue was; it was bound to be less pressing than what he was dealing with now. He turned instead to Kenji, who had spoken next, and blinked owlishly, a bit amused to be offered a seat in his own building. Still, he took it, crossing his legs underneath him, and set the manila file folder he was carrying on the glass surface of the meeting table. "For reference, I'm Steele. Ian, that is, if you prefer." He shrugged as if to say it didn't matter much to him, then flipped open the file.

"Currently, I'm head of the ARTF- the Anti-Rocket Task Force. Don't ask me who named it that-- I have no idea or I would have fired them." It was hard to tell, since he was so deadpan, but Ravenna picked up on the hint of humor and smiled, something echoed in just the barest twitch of Steele's own lips. "At any rate, we've been operational for about a year now, and our moles in the organization have been feeding us a steady diet of information. Perhaps bad for the digestion. Regardless, when Bill referred you to me, I think he may have had more in mind than helping him retrieve his own pokemon. He realizes, as I do, that Team Rocket is a menace that will not be eliminated through the usual method. So, I find myself in need of the unusual."

He paused, steepling his hands and leaning backwards in his chair to glance over the group with half-lidded eyes. "This would be entirely voluntary of course, and if you are anything less than perfectly certain of your desire to assist in this matter, you will be encouraged not to participate, but there is something you could do to help bring down Team Rocket, and in the process return Bill's pokemon to him. I will say no more unless you're interested, of course." Another small pause, then a sly half-smile. "You should know that it would be quite dangerous."

Kael listened on from his, quite comfortable, position lying on the ground as the man known as 'boss' entered the room and began rattling on with the others. In his opinion, he would have figured anyone labeled as the boss in a place like this would have at least had a slight problem with a broken chair and man lying on the ground. This man didn't seem to have a care in the world and was a little more serious than Kael would have normally liked, but he smiled nonetheless as Atomsk was pointed out as an outsider. Hell yeah he is, Kael thought. He's creepy and smells like ash.

Kael kept silent about the matter and stayed out of everything to listen as the conversation continued. That is, until the man spoke his own name. Something in the back of his mind buzzed a warning suddenly and Kael lifted his head off his hand to listen closer. He knew him from somewhere. His name sounded so familiar, but Kael couldn't quite put his finger on it. The man's last sentance seemed to trigger the connection for no apparent reason and Kael rose from his position on the floor to really look at the man.

"We can't exactly say whether we're in or not until we hear what it all entails," Kael said to the man. "Regardless, we've already started this trip, and I don't think any of us are ready to throw in the towel just yet." With the exception of Atomsk, the four of them had already dealt with Team Rocket more than most people would over the course of their lives.

Returning his gaze to the man, Kael looked him right in the eye and was sure of his thought. "But what exactly can we do that a trainer such as yourself cannot? I would think it a simple task for the former Champion of Johto's Elite Four to deal with a few Rockets."

"Well said, Cap'n," Kenji remarked, agreeing with Kael. They had come too far to just walk out the door right now. Of course, Kenji had gone further on less, but still. He wasn't the one to give up quite so easily, especially when words like "danger" are being tossed around. In fact, that was the metaphorical hook to his magikarp-like mouth-- Also metaphorical. Kenji leaned back in his own chair (careful not to smack Kael with the back of it, of course) and rested his hands on the back of his head, and by extension, behind Light. While his hands dangled back there, he went ahead and scratched her gently.

Kenji shrugged and propped a leg on top of another leg, giving off an air of nonchalance-- a stark contrast only a few moments ago. He decided he wasn't worth getting worked up over. He'd been in jail once, he could survive another night in a cage if it came to that. It wouldn't come to that, hopefully, but he was prepared for that possibility. "Right. You've got me like a Rattata with a piece of cheese. Whatcha got for us?" Kenji asked, raising a crimson eyebrow of his own. He wasn't one to shy away from danger. He enjoyed it, willing to throw himself headfirst into the first notion that he might get hurt.

"If the matter were as simple as an application of brute force, you can rest assured I would have taken care of it already," Steele replied, apparently unfazed at having been recognized. "As it is, a more impulsive trainer of a similar reputation tried that, and wound up nearly fatally wounded and missing all of her pokemon afterwards. You can see why I advise caution." He turned to the other three present, awaiting their confirmation before he continued. What was to follow was somewhat confidential, and though he was taking an enormous risk by passing it on to these people, he was willing to trust Bill's recommendation and take the risk. The other youth though-- he'd be doing some research on him.

"Oh, I'm going," Ravenna remarked with a distant smile. There was something to this, and though she was rarely blessed with bona fide visions of the future, she had a good feeling about it. There was trial coming, she knew that, but hadn't somebody once told her that it was only by doing the tough things that you accomplished the great ones? Besides, she owed Bill more than she could ever repay, and if this was a way to make a dent in that debt of gratitude, she'd jump in headfirst, no questions asked. She was curious what the iron-sphere man had for them, anyway.

Junko listened intently as the group spoke. She listened as the man named Ian, began speaking about another possible mission: the downfall of Team Rocket. Junko would have scoffed if she didn't respect the man, however; she wasn't here to help deal with what seemed to be his problem. She had other things to do, like save Bill's pokemon and find her brother. Those were her priorities at the moment and she didn't particularly care if there was a chance to finish off Team Rocket once and for all. A sudden thought appeared in her head as she leaned onto the table, folding her hands underneath her chin as she stared at the inspector.

"Is there any news of another group, possibly a sub-group, forming?" she asked in an authoritive tone. Of course, she might have just been a trainer, however; she was in need of certain information at the moment and if playing nice would help her get this information, then she would. "I don't think it was your group to say the least that caused that explosion in Saffron. I don't think you'd risk exposure," she continued. If one were to have walked in, they would have that Junko was the inspector, not the other way around. If there was a possiblity of finding out information, especially if it led to Kojiro, then she would perhaps join the group in this side-quest of sorts. Of course her main priority would always be Kojiro, she needed to find out where he was first.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kenji Akihiko Character Portrait: Junko Takashi Character Portrait: Atomsk Walker Character Portrait: Kael Skye Character Portrait: Ravenna Fiori Character Portrait:
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Atomsk continued his casual observation from the back of the room. They were going even farther. Atomsk needed to continue along. He had to play this carefully if he wanted Bill's Pokémon to be his. He was prepared to keep up the ruse, but he wasn't prepared with betraying Junko. This was a trying dilemma for him. He would have to make some difficult decisions.

When Atomsk heard Junko bring up something about a sub-group of Team Rocket, Atomsk worried some. Junko was always quick, but she had already picked up on Cataclysm's trail. Granted they weren't a sub group of Team Rocket, but her idea was close enough to get her on the fast track to finding them. His cover would hold as long as they knew he was associated with them.

Atomsk thought for a second, and decided that it might be a good idea to use this situation to his advantage. He had legitimate information on Cataclysm. He just had to seed some false information in with whatever he decided to leak to these guys. This would help get him in good with the police cheif as well. He raised an eyebrow, as if he had been suprised at Junko's statement.

"I think you may be onto something Junko." He paused, and walked over to the nearby table, putting his hands down firmly as he got there. "Some mysterious characters have been popping up all over the region. They hand out flyers, they act like recruiters, and they are trying to get people to join their team. They call themselves Cataclysm." Atomsk raised his arms up and crossed them, taking the brief few seconds to fake a story. "I've tailed more then one of them, but I can never seem to find where they are based. They hide well, they certainly make sure to cover their tracks. I don't know if this has anything to do with Bill's Pokémon, but I can certainly tell you they are up to no good. They are incredibly destructive for seemingly no reason. Their battles always leave a mess, and even some casualties."

"That explains the warzone we found the rocket goons in," Kenji noted. He nodded, "They did mention a team Cataclysm thoroughly stompin' a mudhole in 'em come to think of it. Rules out them bein' on friendly terms," he added. Light pulled a lock of his hair, trying to get his attention, and when she had garnered his eyeballs, she pointed at his pockets. His eyes lit up and rememberance and began to fish out something from his pocket. "They.. Gave.. Us.. Dammit, where is-- Oh, found it! They gave us their card," he said, tossing the card with one miss Astrid Valentine, Consultant and her number on it on to the table.

He scoffed at the thought and shook his head. "Bunch of idiots, if you ask me. Goin' to tear up a road just to recruit a bunch of rocket scum. Stupid is what it is," he said, throwing his gaze to Atomsk. "Tailed them? You're not very good at that, are you chief? If they are as destructive as you say, then followin' them should've been easy. How do you lose track of a path of destruction?" he chuckled. Not to mention that one fellow was riding a bloody loud motorcycle. Not only that, but if they were actively recruiting (with flyers no less) then finding them shouldn't be hard-- hell they had their consultant's number, and they got it by accident. Atomsk's story was fishier than a Magikarp. Kenji wasn't the sharpest tool in the shed, but he could add things up. His story didn't. Either way, the man didn't win a friend in Kenji.

"But, we aren't here for those jackasses, we're here for Bill and his pokemon-- Maybe we can stay on task?"

"Probably couldn't see their trail through the cloud of smoke...." Kael muttered about Atomsk losing his way when tailing the other group, a little louder than he intended to. It was becoming quite apparent Kael wasn't a fan of the man, there was something that had nagged at him since the moment Kael saw Atomsk. If only he could put his finger on it...

"I have to agree with muscles here." Kael gestured in Kenji's direction. "While I love a good, random discussion every now and then, spending my day stuck in a dreary police room isn't exactly my idea of a good time." He paused to let out an over exaggerated yawn and looked over to Atomsk. "You can go have fun with team Cataracts and friends, if you can find them of course, but the Rockets were the ones who took Bill's Pokemon. Who cares about some wannabe gang members right now?"

Addressing the detective once more, Kael was starting to get annoyed at the cliffhanger of finding out what they needed to do. "So what do you have for us Champ? Er...chief....or whatever the hell your title is..."

Ian would have sighed if such gestures weren't beneath him. Still, he decided to address what he saw as the relevancies in order. "He speaks more or less truly about Cataclysm," he replied, "and they will eventually be a problem. Right now, they're a much smaller problem than Team Rocket, however, as they are poorly-organized at best and their leader as far as anyone can tell has a head for little more than senseless distruction. If your goal is truly to retrieve Bill's pokemon, however, you will need to confront the Rockets, and to do that, you'll need to know more about them. That is why I offer the mission I do," he continued, answering Junko's unvoiced but obvious implication that his suggestion was irrelevant to their cause. It was anything but.

The standing man with the dark hair, he now certainly distrusted, but the others seemed honest enough in their intentions, and a few of them likewise suspicious. It was enough to tip the scales in favor of revealing some small part of his hand. "You may well run into Cataclysm where I intend to send you, as at the very least, their intelligence and technical resources are somewhat competent." He half-smiled at Kael's confusion over how to address him, and shrugged. As he'd indicated earlier, either of his actual names would suffice-- he preferred not to stand on formality.

"My mole informs me that there is an upcoming... event. A gathering of sorts, for the big fish in the criminal underworld. Such events are held only infrequently, and their places and dates kept quite secret. It is a way for the elements of regional and national crime to keep in contact with one another, and to gauge the relative strength of one another. Essentially, quite a lot of showboating that occasionally leads to new business arrangements. Team Rocket is sure to be in attendance in force: administrators, technicians, perhaps even the boss. If Cataclysm knows, they'd be fools not to crash the party, as it would be the easiest way for them to secure a financial windfall-- assuming they can usurp someone else's place in the pecking order to get it."

There was a small pause, and then the strange girl with the rosy hair spoke. "You're suggesting that we sneak into such an event. Surely not as participants?" She looked from herself to the other members of her little band, and he had to smile at that. No, they did not look like the right kind of criminal at all, though admittedly the suspicious one was shady and the tattooed one vaguely thuggish. That could be for any reason, though, and he wasn't going to speculate at present.

"Perceptive, and correct. There are more than simply criminals at this event, after all. Usually, the host hires a number of entertainers, and of course it's hard to keep track of which members of security are really supposed to be where..." Opening his folder, he removed two small objects from it and slid them across a table. From the looks of them, they were ID badges, with a scanner code running along the bottom. "My mole procured these-- they can be programmed with the image of the person they're intended for. The rest of you will have to go as an act of some sort, which he can enter into the systems from Rocket's computers. It is, after all, a Rocket-hosted event this year. What exactly you can do, I'll leave to you to decide, but you should know that time is short. You have three days."

"... I can juggle?"